Ingrown toenails are pesky problems that aren't only painful but can come back time after time. You want to treat your ingrown toenail to prevent infection and other complications — but can you do it on your own?
If you have an ingrown toenail and need help, the Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center team can help. Dr. David Deiboldt is our podiatry specialist who offers several treatments when your toenails are bothering you.
Signs of an ingrown toenail
An ingrown toenail is a condition where your nail penetrates the flesh of your toe. Your big toes are most often affected, although it can happen to any of your toes. An ingrown nail can feel swollen and may be more complicated than usual. Other signs of a problem include:
- Pus draining from the skin
- Warmth around the nail
- Redness or discoloration
These symptoms are signs that your ingrown toenail is infected. Although you can treat an ingrown toenail at home, you should seek professional treatment if you have signs of an infection. You don’t want to go without treatment if your toe has an infection.
Home treatments that help
As long as your ingrown toenail isn't infected, you can try to take care of it at home. Dr. Deiboldt and his team provide you with several home remedies for your ingrown toenail, which include the following:
Soak your feet
You can care for your ingrown toenail by soaking your feet in a warm bath several times a day. Soaking your toe helps reduce pain and swelling around the nail.
Put a spacer under your toenail
After soaking your feet, the next step is to put something underneath your nail to encourage it to grow normally. You can use a small piece of dental floss to lift the nail, and place something soft underneath.
Put on a bandage
Another essential part of caring for an ingrown toenail is applying antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly. You can then cover the ingrown nail with a bandage to protect it from bacteria and infection.
Pick appropriate shoes
It's tough to wear closed-toed shoes when you have a painful ingrown toenail. Choose your footwear carefully while your nail heals. You may opt for open-toed shoes or flip-flops during your recovery.
Use pain medications
Ingrown toenails are often susceptible and painful, which is why pain medications are a lifesaver. Dr. Deiboldt recommends using over-the-counter pain relievers to keep your pain under control while your toenail heals.
When do you need treatment?
Home care is often appropriate for many cases of ingrown toenails. However, if your pain continues or you can't seem to get your toenail to heal, you should get treatment from Dr. Deiboldt.
Another reason to seek treatment for an ingrown toenail is when you have signs of an infection. When the nail becomes red, swollen, and extremely painful, you might have an infection.
You should make an appointment with Dr. Deiboldt when you think your toe is infected. A minor infection in your toenail can become a much bigger issue if left untreated.
Dr. Deiboldt offers quick and efficient treatment for ingrown toenails, including antibiotics when you have an infection. He might also provide you with a toe brace to relieve pain and keep pressure off your nail.
Call 301-804-1174 to make an appointment today with Dr. Deiboldt at our Beltsville, Maryland office to learn more about ingrown toenails, or book a consultation online.