When is it Necessary to Remove an Ingrown Nail through Surgery?

Sometimes at-home remedies just don’t cut it. How do you know your ingrown toenail needs surgical intervention? Some individuals shared the symptoms to look out for that let you know you need to see a podiatrist. Keep reading to find out if you need to schedule an appointment today.
Rhianna Jones

Rhianna Jones

Registered Nurse at .

Does Not Respond to Home Remedies

Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail’s edge grows into the skin. This may lead to inflammation, pain, and infection. Generally, these can be treated at home. Home treatments include warm soaks, nail care, and well-fitting shoes. There are times, however, that surgery is needed.

Consult a doctor if ingrown toenails keep coming back, if they do not respond to home remedies, or if the nail becomes infected. Infection presents usually as pain, redness, swelling, and possibly pus. You should also contact a physician if the pain does not go away. Though surgery may not be needed in these instances, an affected person should still consult a physician to rule out the possibility.

Persistent Pain

Ingrown toenails are common and often uncomfortable, but they are typically manageable through conservative methods. However, there are certain situations where surgical intervention is necessary.

    ● Persistent Pain. When the pain from an ingrown nail doesn’t subside with usual treatments such as soaking the foot in warm water, using topical antibiotics, or wearing comfortable footwear, surgery may be needed. Chronic pain can indicate a deep-seated problem requiring a more direct approach.

    ● Recurrence. If the ingrown toenail recurs frequently, despite proper nail care and the use of non-surgical treatments, this is a sign that a more definitive solution like surgery might be beneficial. Recurrent ingrown toenails may be due to the shape of the nail, which surgery can correct.

    ● Infection. A significant infection that doesn’t respond to topical or oral antibiotics may necessitate surgical intervention. Signs of such infection include persistent redness, swelling, pain, and the presence of pus.

    ● Underlying Conditions. Patients with diabetes or other conditions causing poor blood flow to the feet are at higher risk of complications from ingrown toenails, including serious infections and ulcers. For these individuals, surgical removal of an ingrown nail might be advisable to prevent such complications.

It’s crucial to remember that every case is unique, and a professional examination is necessary to determine the best course of treatment. If you’re experiencing persistent problems with an ingrown toenail, please seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Dr.T N Rekha Singh

Dr.T N Rekha Singh

Dermatologist, Trainer and Mentor at .
Dr. Enrizza Factor MD

Dr. Enrizza Factor MD

Dermatologist at .

Difficult to Carry Out Your Daily Routine

You should remove an ingrown nail through surgery when you:

    ● Experience excruciating pain
    ● Find it difficult to wear shoes or carry out daily duties
    ● See any infection-related symptoms like swelling, redness, or pus
    ● Have a condition like diabetes that affects the nerves or blood flow in your feet

Ingrown toenails can become extremely painful and can become infected if left untreated. If the infection is not treated right once, it may deepen and spread, possibly even reaching the bone. If you haven’t already sought out podiatric care, you may now be considering drastic measures like amputation.

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