Have you been ignoring your ingrown toenail, hoping that it will get better on its own? Unfortunately, ingrown toenails only become worse if you don’t treat them. Luckily, your podiatrist in Glendale and Phoenix, AZ, Dr. Michael Dershowitz, offers treatments that will ease your pain!
Can I treat an ingrown toenail at home?
If your nail has just begun to grow into the skin, you may be able to free it at home. Soak your toe in warm water for 20 minutes to soften the skin. Dry your foot thoroughly, then place a small piece of dental floss or cotton under the nail. Keep cotton or floss under the nail until it no longer grows into the skin (be sure to change the floss or cotton every day).
Don’t try this at home if you have diabetes, however. If you have the disease, any foot problem, even if it seems minor, can quickly turn into a serious infection. If this applies to you, immediately turn to your foot doctor in Glendale or Phoenix, AZ, to free your nail and help you avoid an infection.
When should I see a podiatrist?
Call your foot doctor if:
- Your nail won’t budge when you try the cotton or dental floss method.
- You think that your toe might be infected (signs include your toe being red and warm to the touch, pus being present, and acute pain occurring)
- Walking, standing or even moving your toe is very painful.
During an appointment, your podiatrist can remove the trapped portion of the nail during a quick, minor surgical procedure. Your toe will be numbed thoroughly before the procedure begins. In fact, you won’t feel a thing when the problem section of the nail is removed. You may also receive a prescription for antibiotics to treat or prevent an infection.
What can I do to prevent ingrown toenails in the future?
Your toenail cutting technique may be to blame for your ingrown toenail. In the future, cut the nail straight across, rather than rounding the edges, to prevent it from growing into your skin. Avoid tight shoes and socks too—they can press against the nail and force it into the skin.
Need care? Give us a call!
Do you have an ingrown toenail? Call one of Dr. Michael Dershowitz’s offices in either Glendale or Phoenix, AZ, at (602) 340-8686 to schedule an appointment!