What Is the Recovery Process for Toenail Removal?

The recovery process after toenail removal involves wearing a bandage or Band-Aid for approximately two weeks and keeping the affected foot elevated as much as possible, notes FootVitals. After 24 hours, the patient may remove the bandage and soak the toe in lukewarm water and Epsom salt. Antibacterial ointment and a Band-Aid must be applied to the toe after soaking. Patients may experience throbbing pain on the first night, but ibuprofin or acetaminophen should keep the pain at bay.

It is common to experience some drainage and tenderness for up to two weeks. The doctor may prescribe other medications for the patient to take, including antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection, or antifungal medication to fight or prevent a fungal infection, notes Drugs.com.

The patient should continue to soak the foot in lukewarm water and Epsom salts once or twice daily for approximately 20 minutes, explains FootVitals. An appointment needs to be scheduled with the doctor a week or two after the procedure to make sure that no infection is present, and to clean out the procedure site.

Some of the risks involved with toenail removal include more bleeding than expected, swelling, redness and pain in the toe, and fluid or pus that drains from the incision site, notes Drugs.com. The nail may be disfigured when it grows back, and the patient’s symptoms may return.