Should You Use Dental Floss for Your Ingrown Nail Treatment?

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Aug 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

persons_hand_pulling_out_dental_flossAn ingrown toenail is not an uncommon occurrence – we’ve probably all experienced one at some time or another. While unpleasant and often painful, they often go away on their own with some easy at-home treatments. But what should you do when they don’t?

We recently received a comment on our blog article “Foot Care Tips: How Short Should You Cut Your Toenails” from a reader who was given an interesting recommendation for her ingrown nail treatment. Learn what it was and how the best podiatrists in NYC at Adler Footcare responded.

Question from blog reader Susan H. –

“My podiatrist cut my toenail more at an angle, now it is getting sore and red. I was recommended today by my family doc to slide the dental floss under the corner that is starting to hurt. Can't get the floss under the corner for there is barely no nail. What to do? I don't know if I should see the same podiatrist.”

Dr. Adler’s expert response –

I wouldn’t recommend dental floss because it can be too painful and also ineffective. Instead (assuming you have no Iodine allergy) try these steps:

  • Soak your toe in a mixture of ½ gallon lukewarm water, a capful of Betadine Solution, and ¼ cup of white household vinegar.
  • Dry your toe and apply Bacitracin ointment to the ingrown nail.
  • Cover it with a Band-Aid and keep shoe pressure off until you see a foot specialist you trust.

It’s important to take the proper precautions to keep your ingrown toenail from getting worse such as:

  • Properly trimming your toenails straight across so there are no rounded corners
  • Wearing shoes that fit correctly and aren’t too tight
  • Practicing good foot hygiene

However, there is only so much ingrown nail treatment you can do at home to manage the pain. If your toenail doesn’t start to improve within a day or two, it’s important to visit a trusted and qualified podiatrist. If you don’t seek specialized treatment you risk getting an infection, and possibly even needing surgery.

If you’re looking for a place that offers ingrown nail treatment, consider contacting the best podiatrists in NYC at Adler Footcare. Our podiatrists will ask a variety of questions to make sure you’re getting the right kind of ingrown nail treatment. They will also educate you along the way so you know exactly what to expect and can avoid ingrown toenails as much as possible in the future.

If surgery is your best option, Dr. Adler uses a minimally invasive technique, meaning it’s done by making a very small incision. It’s a common outpatient procedure done by injecting the affected toe with an anesthetic and removing the parts of the toenail that have become ingrown.

Dr. Adler is one of only several professors of minimally invasive surgery in the country, so if your ingrown toenail is bad enough, and you need surgery, you’ll be in good hands.

Save the dental floss for your teeth and leave the ingrown nail treatment to a foot specialist. At Adler Footcare, we believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.

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Topics: foot problems, Foot Care