Q:

What ingrown toenail treatments have proven to be most effective?

A:

Quick Answer

The effectiveness of ingrown toenail treatments varies among individuals, but treatment options include wearing non-restrictive footwear, maintaining nails properly and undergoing procedures for toenail removal. Some ingrown toenails arise in response to improper or poorly-fitting footwear, and respond to home remedies such as switching to open-toed shoes such as sandals, or even avoiding shoes for several days, according to WebMD. Sometimes, however, ingrown toenails result from an infection that generally requires antibiotics, and sometimes additional actions.

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Full Answer

As with other nail problems, people generally attempt home remedies for ingrown toenail relief before visiting the doctor, provided no infection exists. In addition to wearing loose-fitting shoes, people should avoid trimming the corner edges of affected nails, as doing so can exacerbate the condition.

When home remedies fail, or when people have an underlying infection, a visit to a physician is necessary. Doctors may begin by prescribing medication to patients with infections, which sometimes solves the problem.

For more severe cases, and for cases that require additional care, doctors perform one of several treatments. This may involve lifting the nail or performing a full or partial removal, states Mayo Clinic. Lifting the nail involves elevating the nail bed from the underlying skin using a splint or cotton to help the nail grow above the skin. Partial removal involves cutting back some of the nail, while a full nail removal involves removing some or all of the affected nail, along with portions of the nail bed.

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