What should you do after a toenail removal?


Quick Answer

After a toenail is removed, patients should apply a topical antibiotic to the area twice a day until the wound is healed, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Patients should keep the wound clean and replace the bandages when necessary.

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Full Answer

Patients should elevate the foot when sitting or lying down to encourage blood flow to the wounded area. Patients may take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if the pain becomes unbearable, reports the American Academy of Family Physicians. To encourage the wound to heal, patients should clean the wound daily with warm water, and dry the wound completely with a clean cloth. Patients should also dress the wound as necessary, especially if bleeding or discharge is present. The wound should remain bandaged for at least one week after the toenail removal procedure to prevent infection.

For the first three weeks after the procedure, patients should wear a postoperative shoe to reduce pain and discomfort as the toenail heals and grows back, states the Cleveland Clinic. As the wound heals, patients should avoid wearing high-heeled shoes, tight-fitting shoes, running shoes or shoes that do not fit properly. Patients should also avoid excessive physical activity until the wound heals completely.

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