For Real Now—What’s Actually the Best Way to Get Rid of an Ingrown Toenail?

by | Apr 17, 2018

Paging Dr. Google. Dr. Google, are you there?

What does the Internet say about the best way to get rid of an ingrown toenail?

Go ahead and search. We’ll wait.

Okay, you back? Good.

We’re guessing your search turned up lots of “gems” like these:

  • Soak your feet in warm water!
  • Use Epsom salt / apple cider vinegar / turmeric / hydrogen peroxide / flower oil / antiseptic / insert random household product here!
  • Prop the nail with a piece of cotton or dental floss!

Well, we have some bad news for you.

“Dr. Google” can be a pretty good resource for helping you research symptoms and treatments, sometimes. But there’s a reason he doesn’t have a license to practice medicine.

When it comes to caring for your ingrown toenails, he’s all over the map—and usually wrong.

Why You Should Skip the Home Remedies

We get it.

Usually, the first thing anybody wants to know about a painful symptom or condition is, “Can I fix this thing on my own, at home?”

It’s a very normal and natural reaction. Nobody wants to go to the doctor if they don’t absolutely have to. We don’t even like to, and we’re doctors! And nobody wants expensive treatments they don’t really need.

In fact, in a lot of other circumstances we even endorse home remedies for our patients, at least as a first option. Ultimately, we want what’s going to be best for our patients. And if you can fix it simply and easily at home, what could be better?

But ingrown toenails are different.


For starters, most of the reasons that someone would ordinarily favor home care are actually more associated with professional care in this case. But there are other reasons, too.

  • Home care has a relatively low overall success rate and may require days (or weeks) to work, if it works at all. Professional care offers pretty much guaranteed relief from a quick and simple procedure, and almost no down time—you’re back to normal activity within a day or two.
  • The longer you have an “active” ingrown toenail, the more likely you are to develop an infection. So, fixing it as quickly as possible is high priority.
  • Even when home care does work, the odds are pretty high that you’ll eventually develop another ingrown toenail in the future. (And another, and another …). Whereas we are able to perform a simple procedure that should prevent ingrown toenails from returning permanently in most cases.

Wait, really?

Yes. Really.

The Real Best Way to Get Rid of an Ingrown Toenail

Don’t mess around. Just give us a call.

We’ll get you in and give your toenail a look. We’ll assess the damage and determine whether or not there’s an existing infection we need to deal with as well.

Then—at that same appointment—we’ll perform the ingrown toenail removal procedure. This is simple, pain-free, and over in just a matter of a few minutes.

After we numb the toe using a local anesthetic, we’ll carefully cut out the ingrown edge. We don’t have to take off the entire toenail—just a little bit of the side.

We’ll bandage the toe and send you on your way. You can walk out of the office, no problem.

By the time the anesthetic wears off within a couple of hours, your pain should be pretty much gone. Just like that.

Most are back at school or work the next day.

But that’s not all.

See, often ingrown toenails arise due to an individual’s genetic quirks. In other words, there’s a good chance that you, personally, tend to get a lot of ingrown toenails because your nails are just prone to them. For example, they could be excessively curved.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, so to speak, you can probably guess that you just happen to be one of the unlucky losers of the genetic lottery—at least in this one specific trait! And that means your ingrown toenail will keep coming back.

Unless …

As luck would have it, we have a solution to that problem as well.

In addition to removing that sliver of ingrown toenail, we can also remove the corresponding sliver of nail matrix. That’s a fancy way of saying your nail can’t grow back along that edge, which means it can’t get ingrown again, either.

And since it’s only the edge of the nail, it should still look pretty natural. You can paint it, wear sandals, the works, and there’s a good chance no one will ever notice the difference.

Do you want to be done with your ingrown toenails, for good, as soon as possible? Maybe even today?

Yeah, we thought so.

To schedule your appointment at one of our six locations in either Missouri or Kansas, please give us a call today at (816) 455-1155.

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