When Should I See a Doctor About My Ingrown Toenails?
There’s no reason you need to wait to see a doctor about an ingrown toenail. In fact, we honestly recommend that you don’t wait at all. While home treatments can work for mild cases, they do take time and there’s always a risk that you’ll develop a much more serious and painful infection anyway.
Professional treatment is so quick and easy that, in our opinion, calling our office is usually the best call regardless of circumstance.
However, there are a few instances when you absolutely must abandon any attempts at home care and call us right away:
- Your ingrown toenail is very painful. There’s no reason to keep suffering, especially when we can provide rapid relief.
- You notice any signs of infection. Severe pain is one common sign. Others include swelling, redness or soreness that seems to be spreading, or drainage of pus.
- Your ingrown toenails don’t go away or keep coming back again and again. This is a sign that a chronic underlying factor—usually genetics—must be identified and addressed.
- You have diabetes or poor circulation. It’s best to have any type of ingrown toenail, sore, or infection checked out right away due to the greatly heightened risk of severe infection.
We understand that ingrown toenails are a serious matter and will prioritize seeing you as soon as possible.
How Do I Treat Ingrown Toenails at Home?
If you’re determined to attempt DIY treatment yourself, provided that none of the scenarios outlined above apply to your situation, read on.
Soak your foot in warm water with a little bit of Epsom salt for about 15 minutes at a time, 3-4 times per day. This will help relieve mild symptoms. After each soak, pat the area dry. Apply antibiotic ointment and loosely wrap with a fresh bandage.
None of the other “home remedies” you may have read about (such as cutting a V-shaped notch in the nail) are effective or advisable, and we discourage you from attempting them.
Wear open-toed or roomy shoes to avoid placing excess pressure on the nail.
If this home treatment method isn’t producing the desired results, or your condition worsens, or you just want it all to be over, call us for in-office care.
And again, if your nail is infected or severely painful, or you have diabetes, poor circulation, or are immunocompromised, call us immediately. Do not attempt home care.