Treating an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a painful issue that occurs when the side of your toenail grows into the skin. You may wonder if it's a problem worthy of a podiatrist visit, or if there's something you can do at home. At Emerald Coast Podiatry, serving Crestview & Fort Walton Beach, FL, and the nearby region, our Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel can help if you have an ingrown toenail. Let's discuss.

At-Home Treatment

In cases where your ingrown toenail isn't severe, you may be able to let it grow out as you continue to trim it properly. 

You may need to cut the ingrown toenail out to stop it from evading the nearby skin tissue. Always make sure you disinfect your tools first and allow your foot to soak in warm water for about 30 minutes before for the best results.

These, however, are only available options if your ingrown toenail isn't deep and doesn't have any infection. In these cases, you'll need to visit Emerald Coast Podiatry, who serves Crestview & Fort Walton Beach, FL, for the proper treatment.

Signs your toenail is infected include:

  • Pus
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Pain
  • Abscess forming

Approaches in Milder Cases

Our podiatrist may lift the toenail and place something underneath, such as cotton, to help the toenail grow out without entering the skin. In some cases, your practitioner may do this and cut the toenail. 

Treatment of Infection

If our podiatrist sees you have signs of infection, he'll not only treat the ingrown toenail but will also treat the infection. This works by the practitioner will perform whatever treatment is necessary to stop the toenail from growing into the skin.

Our practitioner will then prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection before it spreads. You may receive either a prescription for a topical or oral antibiotic.

Approaches in More Serious Cases

In the more serious cases, our podiatrist may need to partially or fully remove the toenail. If you have recurring ingrown toenails, our doctor may prevent this by removing not only the nail but the underlying tissue as well. Our practitioner does this through the use of a fine laser or chemical.


In addition to providing you with a treatment approach for your particular situation, our physician will also supply you with education to prevent this from happening again, such as by teaching you how to cut your toenails properly or providing information about the appropriate footwear.

Emerald Coast Podiatry, serving Crestview & Fort Walton Beach, FL, and the general vicinity, has Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel, podiatrists with experience who can help if you have an ingrown toenail.

Call (850) 862-4119 to reach our Fort Walton Beach offices and (850) 682-6522 for our Crestview office.

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