Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute

When an Ingrown Toenail Requires Help From Your Podiatrist

Nov 15, 2023
When an Ingrown Toenail Requires Help From Your Podiatrist
Sometimes, you can treat your ingrown nail at home. Other times, you need dedicated medical care. Read on to learn when to call our practice for treatment. 

Our toenails protect our toes. That’s why it’s frustrating when they cause an uncomfortable problem. Specifically, if your toenail starts growing into your skin instead of straight out, you’ll need to fix the painful problem quickly. 

The good news: in many cases, you can treat an ingrown toenail at home. 

That said, at-home care has its limits. To help you navigate your ingrown nail, our team at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute put together this guide. Here, we walk you through caring for your nail at home (when it’s safe to do so) and when it’s time to visit either of our offices in American Fork and Saratoga Springs, Utah. 

Trying at-home care first

First, if you have diabetes or another issue that causes circulation issues in your feet, you should skip this step and go straight to seeing our Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute specialists. Your foot issue heightens your risk for complications, and getting prompt care helps you avoid problems. 

Otherwise, you can try treating your nail at home. That means soaking it twice daily in warm, soapy water or warm water mixed with Epsom salt. After, ensure the toe stays clean and dry. 

After your soak and when the nail is soft, try gently lifting the edge of the nail. Using a small piece of cotton or dental floss can help. Never try to cut out the nail — doing so dramatically increases your risk for an infection. 

Also, choose shoes with a roomy toe box. You don’t want anything pressing on the nail. 

Try the twice-daily soaks followed by attempting to lift the nail for a few days. If the nail is still growing into the skin or causing pain, it’s time to make an appointment. 

When to see our team

Make an appointment for your ingrown toenail if:

  • It doesn’t improve after a few days of at-home care
  • You have diabetes or another foot circulation issue
  • It’s showing signs of infection, like redness, swelling, or pus

At our offices, our team offers dedicated care for ingrown toenails. That might mean conservative options like applying an antibiotic and splinting the nail to encourage it to grow out instead of into your skin. If a portion of the nail needs to be removed, we can do it in a sterile environment to lower your risk of infection. 

When you need care for an ingrown toenail, contact our team at the Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute by calling (801) 756-4200.