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Does an ingrown toenail go away on its own?

The featured image is of a person's feet. Photo credit: Osvaldo Castillo for Pexels.

A podiatrist can treat your painful, throbbing toe

I had lived with ingrown toenails all my life – until I couldn’t take it anymore.

Ingrown toenails happen when the side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh of your toe. It hurts and can get swollen, inflamed, and even infected. 

Ingrown toenails usually affect the big toe. Often you can take care of ingrown toenails on your own. 

Here’s what you’re supposed to do:

  1. Soak your feet in warm, soapy water until the toe improves.
  2. Place cotton under your toenail to lift it temporarily.
  3. Take pain relievers. 
  4. Choose sensible footwear.
  5. Repeat until it’s better.

First, if you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, it HURTS — a LOT.

You’ll curse when you can’t wear those shoes you got on sale, and you can forget pretty sandals when your poor inflamed toe is on display. Plus, anyone bumping into your poor toe will probably be on the receiving end of your wrath!

You can treat it at home and recover if it’s a little ingrown nail. However, you don’t have to suffer if it’s so bad and not getting better. 

If the pain is severe or your ingrown toenail looks infected, it’s time to see a healthcare provider. A podiatrist can take steps to treat your ingrown toenails and end your pain and suffering for good.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Even though you’ll often hear how cutting your nails too short causes ingrown toenails, I will share a little-known secret with you. 

You can inherit the tendency for ingrown toenails! My podiatrist asked me if anyone in my family had them. My poor father suffered from painfully ingrown toenails all his life. Thanks, Dad!

So, what can you do? Must you live with the pain of ingrown toenails all your life?

Call the podiatrist

Whether your ingrown toenail is genetic or caused by something else, you can prevent your ingrown toenails from coming back for good. A registered podiatrist experienced with ingrown toenails can do a minor surgical procedure in the office called a partial nail avulsion.

A partial nail avulsion removes the small piece of the nail that’s grown into the skin. The entire procedure takes about thirty to forty-five minutes, depending on the extent of the problem, and is typically done in a physician’s office. You go home the same day with instructions on how to care for the open wound. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to two months, barring complications such as infection. 

(You want to know what it’s like to have this procedure? You will get local anesthesia, so you feel absolutely nothing. And there’s a shield preventing you from seeing how the podiatrist cuts away the offending part of your nail that’s causing the problem.)

You do not need any special boots or braces while the toe heals. I promise you the procedure causes minimal discomfort afterward as you’re healing. You’ll be given the bandages and ointments you need, plus instructions on changing your dressing as your toe heals.

The average cost of the procedure is around $750 nationally. Still, many excellent podiatrists charge much less, from $190 to $355 (depending on your location, how many nails need treatment, and severity of your case). Those on high deductible health plans or without insurance should shop to compare prices and save.

Is seeing a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail worth it?

Yes! It was worth every penny to finally live without pain or fear of bumping my toe and seeing stars. Plus, I now get to wear all the pretty shoes without worry. And you can’t tell I ever had a problem with my big toenails. The open wound heals shut so your nail looks and, more importantly, feels normal.

Ingrown toenails are painful and frustrating. Just because they run in your family doesn’t mean you must endure the pain and frustration for the rest of your life. 

If the procedure’s cost stops you, check out the free LASO Health app. Designed to match you to the type of healthcare you need in the locations most convenient for you, LASO can show you the upfront cost for the ingrown toenail procedure. 

With LASO, you can book your appointment immediately instead of waiting for the office to open – all in one easy search. Compare doctors’ ratings and prices before selecting the medical professional who will forever rid you of your problem toe.

If you cannot treat an ingrown toenail at home and have severe pain, redness, swelling, or signs of infection in your ingrown toenail, there’s no reason to continue suffering. LASO Health can make it easy to search for a healthcare practitioner at the price you can pay. Go ahead and put an end to your pain and book your appointment. You’ll be thankful you did.

The featured image is of a person’s feet. Photo credit: Osvaldo Castillo for Pexels.

Kayleena Smith

Last time I went to the cardiologist I was shocked to see the bill was thousands more than I anticipated. Later I found the LASO app, checked prices and wished I’d known about them sooner. Since then I’ve booked two appointments with LASO and saved hundreds.

Donna Krugman

I didn’t have medical insurance due to a job change. My grandson had a painful ingrown toenail. I was so lucky to have found LASO Health.
I paid for the procedure up front and was able to schedule his appointment for the following day. Everything went great and my grandson was no longer in pain.

Patty C.

I was on a time crunch for an EKG that was required by my surgeon before my procedure date. Because of my divorce, I have been floating between my old insurance and new insurance. The LASO Health app is amazing! I was able to schedule immediately for two days later and I only paid $32. It was hard to believe until I actually used the app. I highly recommend it!