Ingrown Toenail Removal
Our goal at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC, is to treat any condition with the use of conservative, nonsurgical methods. Sometimes, like with difficult ingrown toenails, this simply is not possible. When you have a nail that repeatedly causes pain, swelling, and redness in the surrounding skin, it might be time for ingrown toenail removal.
Your Ingrown Toenail Removal Procedure
We attempt other procedures before we get to the point of a complete nail removal, but this becomes a necessary option when the issue repeatedly happens to the same nail. For this removal, we start by giving you some local anesthesia via an injection. Once the toe has been sufficiently numbed, we use special tools to cut the nail down towards the bottom. At this point, we will pull either part or the entire nail off. Due to the anesthesia, this will not be painful for you.
Given that this procedure is reserved for nails that repeatedly become ingrown, we will use a chemical to prevent the nail from growing back. In its place, your body will create hard skin to replace the previously sensitive tissue covered by the nail.
After the Nail Removal
Following your procedure, there are a handful of things to keep in mind. We will apply antibiotic ointment afterwards, but you will need to use it a couple of times daily until the wound has completely healed. This will reduce the risk of infection, soothe the toe, and promote faster healing.
Showering after a complete nail removal is fine, but avoid swimming, baths, or other methods of soaking your toe for the next couple of weeks. Try to keep it clean and dry, to prevent infection. Additionally, replace your bandage after washing or if it becomes soaked with blood or fluid. You should have it bandaged for at least one week following the surgery. Stay alert for signs of infection and call our office if you observe increased swelling, pain, or drainage.
Wear loose-fitting footwear and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for a couple of weeks after the problem nail has been removed. Avoid strenuous activity, including running and jumping, during this time. Tight-fitting and high heeled shoes should also be avoided.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
We can certainly perform an ingrown nail removal, if need be, but would rather know that you were able to avoid the situation altogether. You cannot prevent cases that are caused by an inherent structure of unusually curved nails, but there are other steps you can take to decrease your risk, including:
Proper toenail trimming. Clip your nails straight across, instead of rounding them off. When nails are rounded, they are more likely to grow out and into the surrounding skin. Additionally, keep them at a proper length. You don’t want your nails to be too long, but make sure they aren’t too short, either. As a rule of thumb, clip them so they are even with the tips of your toes.
Protective footwear. If your job entails moving heavy items frequently, invest in a pair of safety shoes or steel-toed boots. When you are at home and have to move furniture or other heavy objects, enlist the help of family or friends.
Shoes that fit well. One of the causes of ingrown nails is tight shoes. When you buy footwear, always pick up pairs that have room for your toes to wiggle freely.
Ingrown Nail Removal in Metairie, LA
Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC can provide the treatment you need for ingrown toenails and other nail conditions. Hopefully we are able to catch the condition early and prevent a recurring situation, but you can take comfort in the fact that we are able to expertly conduct an ingrown nail removal. No matter which toe, foot, or ankle is affecting your or your loved ones, we are here to help. Call us today at (504) 708-4810 or schedule an appointment with our Metairie, LA office online.