We have all tried to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office at one time or another. In fact, many people avoid the doctor altogether. Have a cold?... Grandma’s old soup recipe should help. Broken Finger? …Dad can reset it. Bleeding profusely? …No worries, mom’s got this. Need a leg amputated? …Youtube.
Whether it’s not having enough time, avoiding the wait, or just thinking that we know better, most people would rather try and solve the problem themselves than take a trip to the doctor’s office. There are certain minor cases where that’s okay, but most of the time, it’s in your best interest to see a trained professional that can give you proper treatment. Here at DM Foot & Ankle Associates, we see many cases of home treatment gone wrong, especially with ingrown toenails. We even have a special name for this: Bathroom Surgery!
Dr.Kim and I treat many people with ingrown toenails and find it very common in children and young adults. An ingrown toenail can be a onetime happening or it can be reoccurring problem. It is the result of a nail growing into the skin that is surrounding it, usually on the big toe. This can produce pain, swelling, redness, as well as infection with drainage of pus, blood, or clear fluid. The pain can be at the tip of the toenail or all the way down to the base.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the high risk factor involved with snipping out part of the ingrown toenail themselves, which is why we advise against this. If the problem is mild, then it can be solved by simply soaking the foot in warm, soapy water several times a day and avoiding wearing tight shoes or socks. But, if the toenail turns into an infection, then it’s time to seek medical attention.
At DM Foot & Ankle Associates, we have several ways of treating the ingrown toenail. If the nail is not infected, then Dr.Kim and I can properly trim away the ingrown corner without anesthesia which will provide temporary and immediate relief.
If the nail is infected, then the ingrown portion of the nail must be removed in order to relieve the infection. The nail will eventually grow back. If the problem is recurrent, then we recommend permanent removal of the offending nail border. Both of these are performed under local anesthesia in the office.
While you can cross your fingers and try to treat an ingrown toenail at home, your best option is to get safe, proper treatment for it here at DM Foot & Ankle!
By: Diana Emini