Ingrown Toenails (cont.)
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If no acute infection is found, then the nail will be elevated and conservative treatment recommended. This consists of warm soaks, proper shoes, and frequent cleaning of the nail.
Sometimes, your doctor will choose to use a splint. Several types of splints can be used. These vary in type, but they all protect the skin from the sharp corner of the nail. Some of the most common types of splints include cotton wicks, plastic strips, plastic tubes down the side of the nail, and various glue-like substances (resins).
Occasionally, a doctor may try to file or cut the nail down the center in order to change the shape of the nail as it grows. A piece of hard plastic can also be glued to the nail to help it grow out flatter and in a straight line.
If any extra tissue has grown up around the inflamed area of skin, your doctor may choose to remove the extra tissue to help it heal faster. He or she will numb the area before removal of any tissue.
Allison Harvey, MD, FACEP
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