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How Painful Is An Ingrown Toenail Removal?

Published on July 1st, 2021

Ingrown toenails are unpleasant, so it’s natural for many to believe that their removal can be just as painful. Fortunately, this procedure is quite common and the most discomfort faced by patients usually involves the initial numbing of the toe.

While there are home remedies and treatments you can do for temporary relief, it’s wise to seek the help of a medical professional to remove the ingrown nail before it leads to infection or becomes too painful to control.

The procedure for removing an ingrown toenail is minor and requires less than a day for patients to recover and proceed to most daily activities. After numbing the toe, the doctor will conduct a partial nail avulsion, also known as creating a straight edge on the left and right sides of your toenail. Once this is done to each side, the bed underneath the toenail is cauterized with phenol, a chemical that prevents the nail from growing back and causing another ingrown.

It’s understandable for most people to feel anxious about being awake during this treatment. While a local anesthetic will be applied to the toe prior to the removal, some foot and ankle specialists will sometimes offer the patient a sedative so they can sleep through the procedure. Patients should speak with their doctor about this option before the treatment to know exactly how the sedative will affect you.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, recovery time following an ingrown toenail removal involves elevating your foot for a few hours after the procedure, as well as bandaging and applying antibiotic ointment to the toe daily for two weeks.

Exercise involving running, jumping, swimming or any other strenuous activity to the feet and toes, should be avoided following the procedure. During these couple of weeks of recovery, it’s also important to wear loose fitted footwear, like sandals or sneakers, and to keep an eye out for swelling, oozing or any signs of infection.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

While it might seem impossible to predict, if and when you might experience an ingrown toenail, there are a few steps you can take to prevent one:

  • Regularly trimming your toenails to a manageable length. Keep your toenails long enough to trim but not short enough that trimming becomes painful.
  • Avoid wearing tight shoes too frequently, as this could put pressure on your nails to curve into the skin overtime.
  • Be mindful of the foot traumas that you endure, such as a stubbed toe or item dropped on a toe. Treating the foot or toe following this trauma can alleviate the initial pain and help prevent ingrowns down the road.
  • If you start to feel like an ingrown toenail is coming in, soaking your feet in warm water can help to relieve the swelling and pressure of the nail.
  • At the first sign of an ingrown toenail, call a specialist right away to schedule its removal. Waiting to treat an ingrown only leads to more pain and an increased chance of infection.

Specialists Conducting Ingrown Toenail Removal Near Me

Paying a regular visit to your local podiatrist can help keep your ingrown toenails and overall toe health in check. This is particularly important if you have diabetes, heart disease or a condition that involves poor circulation.

If you’re seeking foot and ankle doctors in Racine, Wisconsin to take care of your ingrown toenail, our team of medical professionals at the Family Foot and Ankle Clinics of Wisconsin are ready to help you. To make an appointment please give us a call today.

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