Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Is It Possible To Banish Ingrown Toenails?

Monday, 28 June 2010 04:17 PM

Question: This might seem minor, but short of surgery is there anything I can do to help my ingrown toenails? They really hurt. I've changed shoes, tried creams and ointments, you name it. I'm 45 and I think I inherited them from my grandmother.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Ingrown toenails are a very common problem, and no cream or ointments will take care of them.

First of all, treat the local infection that is often present. Failure to do so will doom you to recurrence, whether you change shoes or not.

Next, avoid tight shoes, as high heels and pointed shoes are often the cause of recurring problems. Your shoes help determine your risk of recurrence. Hold the nail polish, and avoid wearing high heels for prolonged periods.

If you have already changed shoes without effect, you will need to consider minor surgery on the edge of the nail and the tissue beside the nail. This surgery usually prevents further tissue pressure, swelling, and infection. If you're diabetic, have poor circulation, or a heart condition, seek the advice of your regular doctor before agreeing to any surgical procedure.

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