How To Care After Ingrown Toenail Removal? Aftercare Tips

ingrown toenail

When the top corner or side of your toenail digs into the nearby skin, it is said to have an ingrown toenail. Your big toe is where it usually happens.

Your ingrown toenails may be completely or partially removed surgically. Ingrown toenail pain and discomfort were relieved by doing this. When the edge of your toenail grows into the skin of the toe, it can result in an ingrown nail.

Follow the advice given by your doctor on how to care for the toe once you get home. Use the details listed below as a reminder.

Read More: Remove Dead Skin From Feet

Ingrown Toenail: What Is It?

When the nail edge is damaged, it no longer fits properly into the side groove and develops into an ingrown toenail. The nail curls downward and pierces the skin, resulting in discomfort, bruising, swelling, redness, and drainage. The side tissue can occasionally develop a nail fragment (known as a lateral pointing spicule) that causes the tissue to thicken up and swell.

ingrown toenail

Causes Of Ingrown Toenails

Although there are numerous reasons why ingrown nails occur, the two most frequent ones are ill-fitting shoes and improper nail trimming. Shoes that are too tight compress the nail’s side and cause it to fit the groove differently. The nail edge may extend into the corner of the nail groove when nails are peeled off or torn. The skin next to a torn nail may become irritated, resulting in inflammation (swelling, pain, and redness), and occasionally infection.

Common Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenail symptoms typically include:

  • Pain around your toenail edges
  • The buildup of fluid and thickening in the skin around your toenail
  • Redness and swelling around your toenail
  • Infection with draining pus around the toenail

What Does Ingrown Toenail Surgery Entail?

Performing ingrown toenail surgery may be advised by your doctor if:

  • At-home remedies don’t resolve your ingrown toenail
  • You have recurring ingrown toenails
  • You have another condition such as diabetes that makes complications more likely

Depending on the circumstances, you might need to have part or all of your toenails removed.

Your doctor will first clean and inject an anesthetic into your toe to numb it in order to get you ready for surgery. It might be uncomfortable. You could wrap a tight elastic band around the region just above where your toe meets your foot. To support the ingrown portion, they might insert a wedge under your nail.

When you’re ready, the doctor will prepare your toenail by separating it from the bed with scissors and other tools before making a vertical cut from the ingrown side down to the cuticle. The cut section will then be taken out. If both sides of your nail are ingrown, the entire nail may be cut off if necessary.

To destroy the nail matrix from which your nail grows, your doctor will either use a heated electrical tool known as cautery or an acidic solution such as phenol or trichloroacetic acid. This stops the bleeding under your nail. It also means that it’s unlikely that part of your nail will grow back. Your nail may not look exactly the same as it did before surgery if it does grow back.

Finally, your doctor usually wraps your toe in a bandage that is covered in petroleum jelly.

What To Do At Home?

When the painkillers wear off, you might still feel pain. Take the painkiller that your physician advises.

You may notice:

  • Some swelling in your foot
  • Light bleeding
  • Yellow clear discharge from the wound

At home you should:

  • Keep your feet raised above the level of your heart to reduce swelling
  • Rest your foot and avoid moving it
  • Keep your wound clean and dry

How To Get Rid Of My Hurt Nail?

Warm water soaks the foot, and a piece of dry cotton is placed under the corner of the ingrown nail, which may be sufficient treatment for a mildly inflamed ingrown toenail (lightly red and sore). The inflammation (pain, swelling, and drainage) may worsen as the ingrown toenail progresses. At this point, an antibiotic ointment can be tested. Oral antibiotics may be tried after your doctor has examined you for the issue. If the condition worsens, surgical removal of a portion of the nail is frequently required.

Surgery Advised For Ingrown Nails

In order to surgically remove an ingrown nail, a small portion of the nail’s side must be removed, along with the nail bed. The toenail is cut to form a new, straight nail edge after a numbing medication is injected into the toe. The cells under the nail must be removed because they will try to grow a new nail, making the nail permanently thinner. The tissue on the side of the toe that has piled up (hypertrophied) must be removed. After that, the toe is bandaged for a few weeks or until it has fully recovered.

How To Care After Ingrown Toenail Removal?

  1. As soon as the procedure is finished, antibiotic cream will be applied to the toe. The soothing ointment promotes quick healing for the toe. Till the wound is completely healed, you should apply the antibiotic ointment twice daily. Because the numbing medication is incorporated with the antibiotic in the over-the-counter (nonprescription) antibiotic ointment Mycitracin Plus, we prefer it.
  2. The day after the procedure, you can take a shower. After showering, gently dry the area and apply antibiotic cream. The following two weeks should be spent avoiding baths, swimming, and soaking. Try to keep the toe dry and clean.
  3. Your bandage will absorb any bleeding from the wound while also protecting and padding it. If blood or other liquid soaks through the bandage, you can replace it. For at least a week following surgery, kindly keep the wound bandaged.
  4. Following the procedure, you might feel some pain. You can take ibuprofen (brand names: three 200-mg tablets taken three times daily with food (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), and acetaminophen (trade name: Every 4 hours, take two 325-mg Tylenol tablets.
  5. For the first two weeks following the procedure, you should wear comfortable, loose-fitting shoes or sneakers. Please refrain from donning high-heeled or constricting shoes in the future. After surgery, you should wait two weeks before engaging in any strenuous activity, including running and jumping. For one to two weeks following the procedure, teenagers shouldn’t engage in physical education activities.
  6. The toe may become infected in the initial weeks following surgery. If your toe starts to swell, become red, or start to drain, call your doctor right away.
  7. The best way to avoid developing another ingrown nail is to trim the nails straight across the top of the nail. It is forbidden to pick, pick at, or tear the nail off the wall or into the corners. Make an appointment with your doctor right away if you experience another ingrown nail because prompt treatment can help you avoid surgery.

When Should You Call The Doctor?

In two to three days, or as recommended, make another appointment with your healthcare provider.

Call your service provider if you see:

  • Your toenail is not healing
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain, even after taking pain-relief medicine
  • Bleeding from the toenail
  • Pus from the toenail
  • Swelling or redness of the toe or foot
  • Regrowth of the nail into the skin of the toe


When you press on or around an ingrown toenail, it can hurt.

Anesthetic injections prior to surgery have been reportedly reported to be painful by some patients. However, you should feel comfortable throughout the procedure once the injection starts working and the numbness sets in.

If you do require surgery, it can be performed under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office. A podiatrist or foot specialist may be needed. Surgery for an ingrown toenail typically has few complications. You’ll be able to resume your regular activities after taking a few days off.

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