Should I see a podiatrist for ingrown toenails or get a pedicure?

Ingrown toenails are common afflictions that mostly affect babies and young adults in their 20s and 30s. Not only do ingrown nails look unsightly, but they can be painful! This is the point when people begin to wonder: “Do podiatrists deal with ingrown nails?” If you have any issues related to foot pain, discoloration, or disfiguration of the toenail, it’s important to speak with a podiatrist.

First, are there home remedies to treat or remove ingrown toenails?

Yes! If you are apprehensive about visiting a doctor, you might feel up to the challenge of tackling ingrown toenail removal on your own. It’s possible to try at-home remedies in the early stages of an ingrown nail, but do consult with your podiatrist or primary care doctor if your condition worsens. 

At-home treatments:

  • Regularly clean and trim toenails to a moderate length. 
  • Avoid wearing tightly fitted shoes.
  • Soak the affected nail in Epsom salt and apply over-the-counter antibiotic ointments.
  • Trim the affected toenail with clean nail-cutting tools.

Can pedicures get rid of ingrown toenails?

Many may believe that visiting a nail technician for a pedicure can rid or prevent ingrown toenails. However, this isn’t the case. Pedicures aren’t recommended by podiatrists and are actually believed to make the condition worse. The best way to treat ingrown toenails is to prevent them through healthy foot habits, starting at home. Ask your podiatrist for tips and tricks to prevent future ingrown toenails.

Do podiatrists deal with ingrown toenails?

In short, yes! When the condition becomes unmanageable, a podiatrist will step in with a treatment plan that’s specifically for your feet. Ingrown nails often seem like an aesthetic issue, so people aren’t always aware visiting the podiatrist is their best solution. So, how does a podiatrist treat ingrown toenails? It depends on the cause and severity of the ingrown toenail.

Ingrown toenail removal & tissue removal

If you experience recurring problems with ingrown nails, your doctor might recommend removing the nail and nail bed to prevent the nail from growing back. If you and your podiatrist determine this is the best method, there are laser or chemical treatments to accomplish this.

Partial removal of the nail

For severe ingrown nail cases that cause swelling, redness, or pus, doctors might recommend removing a piece of the nail. Trimming down the ingrown portion of the nail won’t prevent it from growing back, so be sure to keep an eye on how it grows as you recover. Maintain safe grooming and trimming of the nails to prevent recurrence of ingrown toenails.

Lifting of the toenail 

For less serious cases, your doctor might simply lift the nail out of the position it currently rests in. This procedure is possible when you have some redness or pain but haven’t yet developed pus.

Treating ingrown toenails

So, do podiatrists deal with ingrown toenails? Yes — in fact, visiting a podiatrist is the most highly recommended course of action when ingrown toenails become unmanageable or more problematic. A podiatrist is able to assess the severity of the ingrown nail and recommend noninvasive or invasive treatment. Podiatrists can prevent and cure infection as well as recommend solutions to prevent future ingrown nails. If you have questions or would like a short consultation, contact Arizona Foot Doctors to speak with our podiatrist about how we can collaborate with you and your family to maintain happy and healthy feet!