Jake writes into The Doctors and says he pulled out his ingrown toenail. He went to a public pool the next day and the toe began to swell, he was in pain, and there was puss and blood coming out. He asks “Is it infected?”
“Yes!” everyone in the audience shouts and The Doctors agree it’s a pretty good bet it is! Podiatrist Dr. Ali Khosroabadi joins The Doctors and agrees that Jake’s foot is infected and getting in public waters with an open legion was not a good idea!
Dr. Khosroabadi says he sees ingrown toenails in his practice on almost a daily basis. When you have an ingrown, the nail invades the skin, and the body sees it as a foreign object, thus it begins the inflammatory process which most likely leads to infection.
Dr. Khosroabadi says if you see any signs of an ingrown including pain, swelling and redness, you should see a specialist. Trying to pull it out yourself, as Jake did, is a bad idea. You’ll likely be unsuccessful and end up leaving behind a piece of the nail which can cause greater infection and make the situation worse.
Once a patient comes to the office, they will be given a numbing medication for their toe and then the doctor can remove the border of the nail, which will subside the inflammation and the infection will likely go away.
Dr. Khosroabadis share a tip to prevent ingrown toenails. He says if you cut your own toenails, cut straight across, not curved. If you round the corners, when the nail grows it could get caught in the skin. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork adds we should stop cramming our feet into shoes that are half as wide as our feet are. Lastly, Dr. Travis shares that sticking your toe in warm sterile water could help.