Podiatrist Questions Ingrown Toenail

What should I avoid doing after my ingrown toenail removal?

I'm scheduled to have my ingrown toenail removed pretty soon. I know my doctor will give me antibiotic ointment after the procedure, but is there anything I should avoid doing after my ingrown toenail removal?

12 Answers

Take it easy the day of. I usually tell my patients no restrictions as long as you are following your doctor's orders - I would stay away from beaches for about 3-4 weeks. Swimming pools are OK.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions, but as a general rule, you should avoid picking any skin or scab that forms in the area.
Avoid getting the dressing or wound wet. Avoid close fitting shoes. Avoid too much walking or activities that require the consistent use of your feet.
Typically the day that you have the procedure. I would take it easy and keep foot elevated. I would also avoid swimming. You should be able to resume normal activity and were normal shoes the day after the procedure.

Jonathan M. Kletz, DPM
Hello. Normally I just have my patients apply a dry band aid until the surgical site dried out. I do not use any antibiotic ointment. I have them soak in epsom salts and warm water for 2-3 days. No restrictions with activities.
Depending on the procedure performed, the postoperative protocol may vary. With the traditional technique of partial nail removal and chemical cauterization of the nail matrix, local care with warm water baths incorporating Epsom salts or similar is performed until local discharge resolves. A clean bandaid or similar should be kept over the area when foot is enclosed in shoes. After 7 to 10 days most people can return to activities without restrictions. I would avoid any pedicure procedure for 4 to 6 weeks.
Don't cut your nails curved, cut them straight across, never dig or peel skin around the nail. 
You should direct this question to you physician because it depends on how it is removed. Generally, I would avoid immersing in public water, needs to be keep clean with daily dressing changes. It will be tender, so avoid ballistic activity.
There are not many restrictions. I had a patient run a marathon the next day.
Follow your doctor's post op instructions. Everyone has a slightly different way of treating and caring for an ingrown nail procedure.
I would recommend avoiding excessive walking or activity for the first day. Depending if you will have a permanent procedure or not, overdoing it the first day or two may cause more discomfort than would be expected. Discuss with your provider to get further details
Your doctor probably won't give you anything after the procedure; he will probably tell you what you need to purchase. All of us, as physicians, practice differently, and I can only tell you the protocol we follow in my office after such a procedure. If it is a simple removal of an ingrown toenail, we have our patients soak 15-20 minutes in warm water with either Epsom salts or Dial antibacterial hand soap. Then the patient has to keep the toe covered with antibiotic ointment and a band aid until the area is healed. If there is an infection when we remove the offending nail border, we also prescribe an antibiotic orally with the above post-operative care. If there is a permanent removal (a Matricectomy), then the protocol is similar for the after-care, but we also prescribe a bottle of anti-inflammatory drops to apply to the surgical site prior to dressing the area with a band aid and antibiotic ointment. So, this is the protocol in my practice; but your physician may do things differently