Ingrown Toenail Treatment - When To See A Doctor

Ingrown Toenail Treatment – When To See A Doctor

By: - Alternative Medicine - September 14, 2011
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An ingrown toenail can happen to anyone and is caused when the sharp corner of a toenail grows right into the skin of the toe. It can be quite painful and inflame quickly. If it is not treated, an ingrown toenail can definitely become infected and an infected ingrown toenail may need medical treatment or even minor surgery to repair.

Causes of ingrown toenails can be many things. One of the most common reasons is wearing shoes that are tight fitting. High heels are also notorious for causing ingrown toenails. If you are trimming your toenails improperly, this can cause ingrown toenails as well. If you are able to, have your doctor show you the correct way to cut your toenails. Learning this art can be the end of ingrown toenails forever, if this is the cause in your case.

Most ingrown toenail treatment can be done at home and you won’t need to see a doctor unless you are unable to remove it yourself or it is extremely infected. To begin the ingrown toenail treatment, you should soak your toe in warm water. You can add Epsom salt or other soaking agent if you wish, though it is not necessary. You should do this 4 times a day and each time try to gently move the ingrown toenail slightly.  You shouldn’t force it totally out of the skin, this should be a gradual process. You should wash the area with anti-bacterial soap and water.

Try to lift the tip of the toenail that is embedded in the skin once the skin is soft after soaking. Take a small piece of gauze and make a small roll, one that looks like a candle wick, for instance. You should gently put this between your toenail and the skin. Each time you soak, you should attempt to push the little roll in further. With this ingrown toenail treatment, you should take an over the counter pain reliever to ease pain and if it is not better in 3 days, see a doctor.

If you have an infected ingrown toenail, you will take a different course of action.  Signs of an infected ingrown toenail include a lot of swelling, white or yellow fluid coming from the area, and reddish skin surrounding a white area can be indicative of infection. If you notice any infection you should probably see a doctor if this is the case. You may need antibiotics and assistance from a doctor in the form of a small surgical procedure.