(Removal, Ingrown Toenail)
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Reasons for Procedure
- Relieve pain
- Relieve swelling or infection
- Remove a deformed nail
- Correct abnormal nail growth
- Excessive swelling or bleeding
- Problems with blood circulation
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Wear comfortable clothing and loose-fitting shoes.
- Arrange for a ride home.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- Do not put weight on the affected toe.
- If needed, take pain medicine.
- Keep your foot elevated when possible.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- If your doctor says it is okay, soak your toe in warm water for 10-20 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day for one week.
- Keep a clean, dry dressing over the toe for the first few days.
- Apply the prescribed antibiotic cream or ointment to the area if advised to do so by your doctor.
- Wash your hands before caring for the nail area or changing the dressing.
- Wear cotton socks and loose fitting shoes for about two weeks.
- Do not run or engage in strenuous activities until the toe is healed. You may need to wait two weeks.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
- If your toe is infected, do not touch the antibiotic with your finger. Instead, put a small dab of the cream on a clean dressing. Use that dressing to apply the medicine to your toe.
To avoid future ingrown nails:
- Do not wear high heels or shoes that fit poorly.
- Trim your toenails straight across. Do not pick or tear at them.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the wound
- Chalky white, blue, or black appearance to skin of toes or foot
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Nurses Entrepreneurial Foot Care Association of Canada http://www.nefca.ca
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association http://www.podiatrycanada.org
Ingrown toenails. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/Content.aspx?id=1339&terms=ingrown%20toenails. Updated December 18, 2009. Accessed May 2, 2013.
Ingrown toenails. American Academy of Family Physicians' FamilyDoctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/ingrown-toenails.html. Updated December 2010. Accessed May 2, 2013.
Roberts JR, Hedges JR, Custalow C. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine . 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Health Sciences. 2004; chap 52.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -