How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails can be problematic—and painful. Anyone who has had one can attest to the discomfort they can cause. This condition, along with other issues that impact one’s skin, hair, and nails, can be addressed by Dr. Michael C. Margulies of Margulies Dermatology.

What is an ingrown toenail?

Our dermatologist describes an ingrown toenail as a nail and nail bed that may end up curling or bending to where it grows into the skin. When this happens, treatment should be done as soon as possible to avoid further issues associated with ingrown toenails, including an infection.

How to prevent ingrown toenails

Some patients with a mild ingrown toenail may treat the problem at home or prevent it from occurring. Patients can avoid these problems by properly trimming their toenails. Avoid tearing the toenail, as this can cause it to grow into the skin if it becomes too short. By wearing sensible footwear, patients can avoid having the toenail pushed back into the skin from overly tight or ill-fitted shoes.

Treatment at home

If an ingrown toenail begins at home, there are a few at-home solutions that patients can try until they can be seen by their dermatologist. Patients can reduce swelling and relieve tenderness by soaking their feet in warm water for up to twenty minutes, several times a day. Cotton or dental floss underneath the ingrown edge placed after foot soaking can help the nail grow upward. Antibiotic cream should be used to help prevent an infection, and over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to address discomfort. Patients should wear sandals or open-toed shoes when an ingrown toenail is present for comfort and proper healing.

Treatment at the doctor

Sometimes, treatment with the doctor is the best solution. The dermatologist may lift the nail and place a splint to help separate it from the skin and help the nail grow outward properly. Other times, the dermatologist may remove a part of the nail and trim it after it has been injected with an anesthetic for comfort. In severe cases, or if patients are having repeated ingrown toenails on one specific toe, the nail and the underlying tissue, called the nail bed, may be permanently removed with chemicals or lasers.

Speak to the team at Margulies Dermatology today to discuss your needs

If you are struggling with a painful ingrown toenail or are interested in other treatments for the skin, hair, nails and body, Dr. Michael C. Margulies can assist. Contact his practice today by calling (305) 595-0393. The practice is conveniently located in Miami, FL at 8940 North Kendall Drive, Ste. #704E.