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Caring For Your Ingrown Toenails After Nail Surgery

If you’ve recently had an ingrown toenail surgery and are wondering how to optimise your recovery, here are some quick tips that we let our patients know about after their procedures.

Immediately after your procedure

  • Take the rest of your day off from work, school and any physical activity commitments. You want to kickstart the healing process and reduce the risk of continued bleeding
  • Keep your foot elevated as much as possible for the rest of the day
  • Use paracetamol if you need to manage pain, as opposed to ibuprofen, which can thin the blood
  • Don’t get your foot wet, shower with your foot completely waterproof, or wait until the next day to shower
  • Keep your foot clean, and don’t remove your dressing
  • Don’t drive on the day after your procedure
  • Don’t wear closed-in footwear on the day of your procedure

Within the first week of your procedure

  • Return within 2-3 days for your dressing change
  • After your redressing with us, redress your toe every 1-2 days, or anytime that your toe gets wet
  • Don’t remove or play with your dressing before your first dressing change
  • Don’t get your toe or dressing wet, if you do, let us know and we may get you in earlier to redress your toe
  • Avoid wearing tight shoes and socks that push on your toe
  • Avoid any activity that causes toe pain
  • Take time to elevate your foot where possible
  • Avoid any physical activities that involve kicking and direct impact to the toe

The first one to two weeks

  • Return for your one week check with us, where we’ll be able to check the status of your healing and debride if needed
  • At this stage, different people may be at different healing stages, so it’s important to listen to the advice of your podiatrist
  • Continue to redress your toe as instructed. We’ll let you know when you can switch the kind of dressing you use to one that is less rigorous
  • Be cautious during physical activity until your toe has healed sufficiently
  • Continue to avoid any activities that cause you pain
  • Wear open-toed shoes as much as possible to encourage healing
  • Let your podiatrist know if you are experiencing significant pain, or are worried about infection

After two weeks

At this stage, your toe should have healed sufficiently to not be bleeding or leaking any white or yellow fluid. This means that you should be able to continue with a simple dressing to cover the toe, as opposed to heavier absorbent dressings. Many people will now be able to return to regular physical activities and wearing regular shoes. We do not anticipate that you will be experiencing significant pain. If you do, continue to use paracetamol as directed. Depending on your health and other medical conditions, it can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks for complete healing. If you’re worried about your progress, give us a call. 

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