Ingrown toenails are one of the most common issues for people with feet. Not only can they be painful, but ingrown toenails can quickly become an issue that requires medical attention if not treated properly.
So, when you find yourself with an ingrown toenail, should you visit a nail salon or a podiatrist?
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what a nail salon can do for your troubled toe and answer the question: can a nail salon fix an ingrown toenail?
The Causes and Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
Are you dealing with the discomfort and pain caused by an ingrown toenail? One of the most common causes of an ingrown toenail is improper clipping of the toenails and wearing poorly fitting shoes.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as swelling, inflammation, pain, and sometimes even infection, it is important to take proper measures to prevent further damage.
It is advisable to inspect your feet before rendering any pedicure service. Soaking your nails in warm salt water can relieve you of the discomfort caused by the ingrown toenail.
While a pedicure service may provide some relief, nail professionals are generally in the beautification business and not in the business of treating medical conditions.
It is best to refer to a podiatrist for any treatment of the ingrown toenail. In terms of prevention, using the right tools during a pedicure can significantly reduce the chances of having ingrown toenails.
Flat-edge nippers, an ingrown nail file, and slightly curved toenail clippers are valuable tools in dealing with ingrown toenails. The tools should not be too large, as they can cause the nail plate to lift and become a breeding ground for fungus.
When cutting your toenails, avoid cutting them too short. Often, people cut their toenails short to ensure that the new nail will come out right, but this can leave an outlying flesh that will easily force the nail inwards and dig deeper into the skin.
A longer nail trimming reduces the chances of having ingrown toenails. Use small nibbles as you work your way across the nail, rather than trying to take the length down in a single bite. Also, file the nails straight across and avoid cutting into the corners of the skin.
It is important to keep the area around the toenails clean and properly moisturized. Some people find that getting a pedicure relieves their ingrown nails, while others do not.
It all depends on what caused the ingrown nail and what was done to treat it during the pedicure.
Remember, it is crucial to focus on proper footwear to avoid the problem altogether. Poorly fitting footwear or extreme pointed styles can force the toenails into the nail groove area.
Can A Nail Salon Fix An Ingrown Toenail?
While nail professionals can help prevent ingrown nails, they are not doctors and cannot treat an already ingrown nail.
The first and most important tip for nail techs is to inspect the feet carefully before starting any service.
If there is any redness, swelling, or weeping around the nail plate, refer the client to a medical professional. Once a client has been released from her physician’s care, techs can cosmetically address any foot- and nail-care issues.
Using the right tools is also important in preventing ingrown toenails. Flat-edge nippers with no angle and slightly curved toenail clippers are preferred by specialists.
An ingrown nail file can also be used to smooth the nail’s curved edges. However, be careful with the size of your tools, as using a too-large curette under the toenail can generate too much pressure and create an area ripe for fungus.
It’s important for clients to avoid cutting the nail too short, as this can cause the outlying flesh of the toe to come up over the leading edge, forcing the nail downward into the sidewalls and causing an ingrown.
Techs suggest allowing the nail to grow long enough that it no longer digs into the distal portion of the toe before trimming it.
Make sure to use small “nibbles” as you work your way across the nail, rather than trying to take the length down in a single “bite.”
Another tip is to avoid cutting into the corners of the toenail. The nail should be cut and filed straight across, leaving the corners alone, so they grow out and away from the hyponychium.
Care for the skin around the nail by keeping the area healthy, supple, and properly moisturized. Use an exfoliating scrub to keep calluses at bay and encourage clients to moisturize at home.
The Potential Risks of Getting an Ingrown Toenail Treated at A Nail Salon
If you’re experiencing an ingrown big toe nail, you may be wondering if visiting a nail salon is a viable option for treatment.
While it may seem like an inexpensive and convenient solution, there are potential risks involved.
First, nail salons are not medical facilities, and technicians are not trained medical professionals.
This means that they may not have the necessary knowledge to determine the severity of your ingrown toenail or provide proper treatment.
In some cases, attempting to treat an ingrown toenail at a nail salon can actually make the problem worse.
Technicians may inadvertently cause further damage to the nail or surrounding skin, leading to increased pain and potential infection.
Another risk of getting an ingrown toenail treated at a nail salon is the potential for unsanitary conditions.
Nail salons are required to follow certain cleanliness and sanitation standards, but not all of them do so consistently or properly.
If the tools used to treat your ingrown toenail are not properly sterilized, you could be at risk for contracting infections such as MRSA or hepatitis.
DIY Remedies for Ingrown Toenails
You’ve got an ingrown toenail, and it’s very painful. You’re wondering if going to a nail salon, to see a nail technician, to treat ingrown toenails during a pedicure.
The truth is, this is a medical problem, and a nail salon isn’t equipped to handle it. But don’t worry because there are DIY remedies that you can do at home to relieve the pain and prevent infection.
First things first, don’t try to fix the nail yourself with sharp objects or by lifting the nail bed with dental floss.
This can actually make the problem worse and increase your risk of infection. Instead, start by soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salt for 20 minutes. The warm water will soften the nail, making it easier to adjust.
After soaking, dry your foot and apply an over-the-counter antibacterial cream. This will help prevent any infection around the area.
You can also add a gentle foot massage to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. When clipping your toenails, be sure to use clean and sharp toenail clippers.
Avoid tapering the edges of the toenail and cut it straight across. Do not cut your nails too short because this can increase the risk of having the nail grow into the exposed skin.
If the pain persists, or you experience pus or discharge, seek immediate medical attention. You may have a severe infection that needs to be treated with oral antibiotics, and a partial nail avulsion may be necessary for chronic sufferers.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails: Tips for Maintaining Healthy Feet
To prevent ingrown toenails, a few simple steps can be taken. Trimming toenails to a moderate length and straight across, without rounding out the edges or clipping off the corners, is important – don’t leave your toenails too short.
It’s especially vital to avoid wearing tight-fitted shoes, as this can exacerbate the problem, by digging in to the free edge.
It is best to let feet breathe whenever possible and avoid excess moisture, which can encourage fungal growth. Nail technicians may be able to offer some cosmetic treatments for the nails, but prevention is key when it comes to ingrown toenails.
Soaking the affected area in Epsom salt and applying over-the-counter antibiotic ointments can provide some relief in the early stages, as a way to treat ingrown nails.
If the condition worsens or becomes unmanageable, see a podiatrist. They may recommend a noninvasive treatment plan or, in more severe cases, removing a piece of the nail or even the entire nail and nail bed, and help with reshaping the toenails.
When to See a Doctor for An Ingrown Toenail
Those experiencing an ingrown toenail can try soaking their foot in warm water with Epsom salt, massaging the area, and applying hydrocortisone cream to reduce discomfort.
However, if the pain persists or infection sets in, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Podiatrists are specially trained doctors who can diagnose and treat foot and ankle problems.
They may prescribe medications, remove the ingrown toenail, or perform a minor surgical procedure to resolve the issue, and removing the nail.
Can a nail salon fix an ingrown toenail? No, a nail salon is not equipped to treat medical problems like an ingrown toenail.
While they may be able to provide relief through cosmetic treatments and preventative tips for future issues, you should seek the help of a doctor if you are dealing with an ingrown nail.
A podiatrist can recommend treatments such as oral antibiotics or minor surgery in severe cases, and help reshape your nails so that they don’t grow into your skin again.
Make sure to take preventive measures such as wearing properly fitted shoes and avoiding cutting your fingernails too short when trimming them.