Your toenails are supposed to protect the tips of your toes. But, if one starts growing down into your skin, what should be providing protection can instead create pain. If this is happening to you, you no doubt want to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
Even so, you need to resist the urge to try to manually fix it at home. Instead, come see our team at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center in Mesa, Laveen, or Chandler, Arizona. Here, our ingrown toenail specialists can help you get relief and avoid future complications.
On that note, let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn't do with a painful ingrown toenail.
Don’t dig it out at home
It might be tempting to try to treat an ingrown toenail yourself. Don’t.
Both the experts on our team and the experts at the American Academy of Dermatology advise against trying to dig out an ingrown toenail yourself. For starters, it will hurt. Furthermore, your efforts or the nail itself could break the skin around your toe. This, in turn, could lead to an infection. Just think about what could grow in the dark, damp confines of your socks.
Instead, the best thing you can do is make an appointment with our team. We can remove the ingrown toenail without increasing your risk for an infection.
However, you don’t have to sit idly by as you wait for your appointment. There are things you can do to get relief. For example, you can try soaking your feet in warm water for 20 minutes a few times a day. You can also take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for a short time.
Also, be mindful of your shoe choices. Wearing open-toed options or shoes with a roomy toe box might help you avoid putting pressure on the ingrown nail.
Get the right care for your ingrown toenail
At your appointment, your provider will analyze your toe and develop a care plan for you. If, for instance, the area is infected, we can prescribe antibiotics.
In a lot of cases, treatment involves removing all or part of the nail. But don’t worry, we give you a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the process. Most of our patients report no pain and hardly any downtime after their ingrown toenail treatment.
That’s a whole lot better than the uncomfortable process of trying to fix it on your own and opening yourself up to a possible infection.
If you have a painful ingrown toenail, we can give you the help you need. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone at one of our offices in Mesa, Laveen, or Chandler, Arizona.