How do I get rid of an ingrown toenail infection?
Bev H. from Mayville, WI
March 12, 2014
Hello, I just had ingrown toenail surgery on both of my toes yesterday. They only cut out he parts that were ingrown. It hurt pretty bad after the numbing shot wore off, but I think things are feeling better now. I had it for 5 years, and I am a dancer, so it hurt very bad. To get rid of the infection, soak your toe(s) in Epsom Salt diluted water, and wrap it using Neosporin and a bandage or Band-Aid.
March 24, 2015
I cut my big toe nails way too short and one of them grew back into the skin and got infected. I tried and tried to treat it myself but finally had to go to the doctor. He was very kind and patient with me. He numbed my toe and then he had to lance the skin on the side of my toe, above the infection, so the pus would drain out. He then trimmed the side of my nail at an angle so he could remove the piece that had cut into my skin. He told me the infection would not clear up unless that piece of nail was removed.
Once the infection is cleared, then we can concentrate on growing the nail back with soaking, putting cotton under the nail, ect. He also had me clean the sides of may nails with a very soft tooth brush each time I soaked them. I had to take antibiotics 4 times a day for 10 days. If that did not work, luckily it did, he would next have to do the same thing again, or remove the whole side of that nail.
It will take months for it to grow back. I have a hard time reaching or seeing my toenails up close because of arthritis. I am still soaking them because the skin gets hard around my nail. I am thinking of getting a pedicure because my nails have gotten so thick now that I am older. The infection is cleared up, but it sometimes feels like it is happening again. The corners are not quite past the end of my toe.
Also, I have to find other ways to get the dirt, or toe jams my doctor
called them, out from under the corners of my big toe nails. It drives me crazy, the dirt under the corners, and the only way I saw to get it out was to cut my nails really short and dig the corners and sides out of my skin. Now I am learning other ways. Good Luck Everyone and soak those feet!
I have an ingrown toenail, it doesn't look to bad but it's red, and easy to hurt. The last thing I want to do is surgery, what should I do?
I use sharp scissors and cut it out, my recipe. Jack Daniels + Scissors = no more ingrown toenail. (12/09/2006)
I get these occasionally and was told to cut a V into the middle of the affected toe to reduce the pressure on the outside. Also soak the toe in warm water and then carefully use an orange stick or end of a metal nail file to pull the ingrown part away from the skin. You then carefully use toenail clippers or cuticle clippers to trim the sharp part but don't trim it too deeply. That should take care of the redness and pain as well as keep the nail from growing in again. Although I have had more success just clipping the ingrown part and skipping the V (it tends to get caught on socks). You might also try to remember that when you clip the toenails you need to trim them more squarely than you do your fingernails to avoid getting ingrown nails in the future because I was told that toenails grow differently than fingernails, although I don't know if that is right or wrong.
Hope this helps.
I have had many of these before, mostly because I used to play with my toes and cut my toenails constantly. I guess sort of the habit of biting nails, except I was messing with my toenails. (Not biting them!) Many of them I fixed, but I have had surgery on both of my big toes before of ingrown toenails. The first one was really bad. It got so infected, it was leaking white and green puss and I couldn't walk on it. They had to cut all the way down to the cuticle, where it would never grow back. Luckily, it was just a small sliver of my toenail and you don't notice unless you're staring at it. As for the other toe, it wasn't bad at all, and was just cut out for me, not down to the cuticle.
The doctor told me to cut my toenails in a square shape so they wouldn't grow into the toe. He said it could happen from cutting them wrong, or even stubbing your toe and jamming the nail into your skin. Just make sure you try to get it out yourself or go see a doctor fast. You don't want to feel the pain I did! What I've done before is soak my foot in warm, salty water to soften the skin and the nail and try to cut it out yourself. Make sure to try and squeeze out any infection it may have (I had a few minor ones) and put peroxide on it if it is a little infected. If it's bad, you need to see a doctor. (12/12/2006)
My little girl has gotten ingrown big toenails a couple times. Once it really got inflamed and swollen. It was sort of a mess. I had her soak it in warm epson salt for quite a while and that helped a lot. I also put neosporin on it and a bandaid. After a while the blister part healed.
I think this can easily happen depending on how you cut your toenails and how your toenails are shaped. My daughter's big toenails are more curved.
You might want to see a podiatrist. Also, if you put ingrown toenail into a search engine, it will turn up some info for you and show some pictures, etc. (12/12/2006)
I take some pieces of cotton off of a Q-tip ( have washed my hands first) roll it into a small log like shape only it is small. Then gently tuck the cotton under the nail between the nail and sore place toenail is causing.Apply tape to hold in place and it will need to be changed 1-2x per day depending. If your infection is advanced, change more often to keep cotton dry and clean. After showers/baths new cotton. You will want it to stay dry, and placing the cotton bit there alleviates the pain for me. Don`t do this if: you are a diabetic (see podiatrist), if infection worsens or gives you cause for concern. (12/12/2006)
Our daughter (age 15) has had surgery twice for an ingrown toenail
After the removal of the nail she was told to soak in epson salts and apply betadine
However, if it is red and inflamed...it is probably infected and may only get worse. you may need an antibiotic. Call your doctor. Please remember that is is NOT frugal to NOT seek medical attention when it is required (12/12/2006)
As a registered nurse I can't tell you how many times people come in to the emergency room or the doctor's office with a "full blown infection" some of which had to be admitted for IV antibiotics. Sounds to be like you have an infection...call your doctor and talk with his/her nurse, she will advise you with appropriate medical advice
How do I get rid of an ingrown toenail infection?
Bev H. from Mayville, WI
At one time I had one on each foot. Went to a podiatrist and had them removed. No pain. Was off on 3 day weekend, did as doctor suggested, and when back to work on Monday. Best move I ever made. (08/06/2007)
I soaked my foot in warm water with epsom salts and applied peroxide to the infected toe. It got very swollen so I finally squeezed it and once it was finally able to drain, it started to heal. It was very painful, though, I have to admit. It also damaged the toe nail, but I think that it will eventually grow out to be normal. (08/06/2007)
I got this from a book of old timey home remedies and it worked: make a thick paste out of alum and water. Put it on the toe and cover with gauze. The alum will make the skin around the ingrown part shrink and that will release the toe nail. You can buy alum from the grocery. It will be with the spices. (08/06/2007)
I use Campho-Phenique. I dip a Q-tip in (one dip per end) and dab on inflamation. Dab several times and wait till numb. Gently pull skin away from corner of nail, cut a small part of the corner off in at an angle. Put Campho-Phenique on several times a day until well. (08/07/2007)
This is going to sound crazy, but if you soak your foot in regular Listerine it will kill the bacteria and help heal the toe. I use the Walmart brand as its cheaper. Surprisingly this also works if you have nail fungus. (08/08/2007)
Easiest way-soak them in salty water.
That's what every doctor has told me, and it has never ever worked. I've had severe ingrown toenails in the last 3 years, and 7 operations in a doctors surgery with only local anesthetic and all have worked..for maybe a month. Then they just come back as bad as the last time or even worse. I'm only 14 now so I consider myself pretty unlucky since no one else I know in all ages has ingrown toenails nearly as bad as mine.
But, good luck :)
And if anyone is to get surgery, make sure you have general anesthetic. (08/23/2007)
I have had toe surgery about 5 times they always comeback. I had one in July and got surgery and it came back and it is only October. (10/30/2007)
I had so many problems with both my big toes that I finally had the nails removed on both. No big deal. They just simply gave me a shot in both toes and took the nail off (I never even felt the removal of the nail) I was then given a choice of having medication put on the toes so the nail would never grow back or not having it put on and letting the nail grow back again. (10/30/2007)
Ive got to go in hospital to have my ingrown toenail removed and I am so scared. I have been told they put an IV in you and it hurts. Is this true? (11/13/2007)
I have had horrible toe nails since day one - so my mother says. I have had an operation on one toe nail, best choice I have ever made, i used to take anti biotics but it used to clear up the infection and then the nail would just do the same thing again. I was so scared about the operation but all they do is cut a tiny bit off and mine is done so it wont grow back, now there is no pain at all. Got me a week off school. What more could I possibly want?
Now I have NO problems with that toe, but my other big toe has started to do the same, so I took things into my own hands - worst thing I could have done. I cut the toe nail etc and now it is even worse, so leave it to your doctor to do. At first I was scared to see a doctor but when I heard the reality of it all, I was soon quick to get an appointment, so I am going tomorrow to see the nurse, who is going to give me some antibiotics and if that doesn't work, looks like operation number two could be fast approaching. (12/20/2007)
Hi! I've been fighting ingrown toenails for almost 3 years. First my right big toenail, and recently my left big toenail (both sides on both toenails were ingrown). I've had bath, betadine almost every treatment that was written above and nothing helped.
Solution: 2 days ago i've had surgery. The doctor removed the ingrown parts of the nails and put some chemical to stop those parts from regenerating. I can't say that the operation didn't hurt, I've had local anesthesia. I am waiting for the toes to heal. At last: no more blood on my socks when I return from school and no more pain. Hope I've helped! Good luck. Feedback is welcome. (01/07/2008)
4 months ago I injured my toe, causing the ingrown part of the nail to dig into the nail bed resulting in an infection. I had the ingrown part of the nail removed. It relieved the pain but a few weeks later it was re-injured and became infected. Had the bad part of the nail removed again to relieve the pressure. The pain was gone once again but is now is infected once again. I guess the reason for this is that there is a void in your toe where the ingrown nail was, and after its removed that area is open and can get injured causing an infection. The nail is OK but the infection just keeps hanging around. I was told by a doctor to keep it clean, he started me on antibiotics and told me to take it easy on it. (02/07/2008)
I had laser surgery on one toe almost 12 years ago and have not had issues with this since. The laser surgery did not hurt compared to having a nail removed. The laser burned the nail at the root up a straight line up the nail bed. I got to keep my nail and got rid of the ingrown all in one. I can wear sandals again! (02/12/2008)
I've had my left toe nail ingrown 4 times in the past year. The first two times, my doctor only cut out the infected parts without anesthesia, but the third time I went in and the doctor told me enough was enough, the nail had to come out. So he told me to come back the next day after he was done with patients. I did and he brought me to the room in back where they normally do casting. He had me lay down on the bed with my knees bent and my feet flat on the bed.
Doing as I was told, the doctor gave me 4 needles. 2 on either side of my toe. Once the toe started going numb, he started his work. Once the toenail was removed, he wrapped it up and sent me home. Well... 3 hours after the extraction, my toe was bleeding right through the bandages he put on it and my friends step dad's niece changed my dressings for me.
I didn't stay off my foot the five days I was supposed to, so my infection is still there and the nail is growing into the skin again, and the middle of the nail is all pointed upwards, so it feels like a mountain if I run my finger across my toenail. I went to the clinic the other night about it and the doctor I saw then told me to get the doctor who initially took the nail out to do it again, but I cant visit him till Monday of next week and he wont do it that same day. Instead he will tell me to come back at the end of his shift another day and I'll have to go through the same stuff again. (03/13/2008)
Do not go to a doctor for this condition. Go see a chiropodist/podiatrist. I made the brutal mistake of going to my doctor, where I was butchered, and thankfully my toenail grew back. I then went to see a chiropodist for both of my toes, which he did the procedure properly and carefully, and I have not had a problem since. (06/07/2008)
Yes, this is like the third time I've had ingrown toe nail surgery, and let me say that it is not bad at all and you all need to quit being such wusses about it. Some people are saying they have had it for 4 years, you people need to learn that just because you ignore a problem does not mean its no longer there. Get the surgery, it's fairly painless the worst part is the novocaine and then it's only like a ten minute procedure, and if you get the acid, your toe nail should never grow back. (08/08/2008)
I get them all the time. The "surgery" if you can really even call it that, its not that bad. A few needles in your foot, then the cut straight down the middle of your nail, and pull each side out. The relief from the pressure on your feet is immediate, and my nail grew back. Really not that bad. (10/12/2008)
I have the same thing but I got one removed. I had 2 on each of my big toe. You shouldn't waste time. Hurry and go to the doctor because if you wait, it will grow more into the skin making it more painful.
What they'll do is first put some rubber bands around your toe for about 7 mins then they will bring in the supply kit and numb you toe with a needle with something in it (don't know what it is). After they will take some scissors and cut about half your toenail. Finally they will put bandages and stuff on it and give you a prescription for the pain cause it will hurt a little after. (11/19/2008)
By no one
Several years ago I had a greater toe that was ingrown about 1/2 inch. It got that I could not wear a shoe and started wearing a slipper at work. I finally got up my nerve and and pushed a kelly clamp down the inside for the ingrown nail, snapped it tight and rolled the whole nail off. I start to shake when I think about it and would never recommend it. The nail grew back and I have been careful never to get in that position again.
I agree with 1 of the post about using alum & water, alum will help & sometimes cure anything, sores, cuts & etc. Get it from drug store in the back, ask them if they have it in 3 oz bottle. I not they will order it for you, it's cheaper than in grocer store, every body needs to keep alum on hand. Good luck. (12/25/2008)
By Kathleen W.