Learning more about ingrown toenail post surgery care

Learning more about ingrown toenail post surgery care
November 20, 2013 10:58 AM

Compared to the majority of surgeries out there that usually require a very high degree of attentiveness, the ingrown toenail post surgery care instructions are very basic and that is due to the fact that toes can heal really quickly without too much help.

Typical Aftercare Instructions

Truth be said, it seems that there is minimal consistency in the instructions many patients receive from their surgeon after they have had ingrown toenail surgery. As a result, there will be many patients who'll go online and start posting on the forums that their surgeon advised them to do this and that and someone will then respond with their personal experience and state that their surgeon has told them something very different from what they read. 

What you need to know is that if you go online to read about people's experiences on this type of surgery, most of the times they will comment and post things if they have had a bad experience. It's true that you can also read comments from people that had a non eventful surgery, but in general the rest are going got be negative and because of that, it's simple to get overwhelmed and confused by such statements.

Always keep in mind that you're just getting a single side of the entire story. People on the online community forums just post things they "remember" from their doctor's advice. At the end of the day, there's no way you can tell if these people have followed the instructions of their doctor. With that being said, you should keep the following in mind:

  1. If you feel vague or confused about various aspects of your aftercare regimen, then you need to ask your surgeon questions until things are clear for you. In this transaction, you are the most important one, so be sure that you don't allow your ignorance about medical procedures to make you silent because you're embarrassed to ask questions.
  2. Each and every doctor has his very own regimen and as a patient, you need to make sure that you respect it.

Usually, general aftercare regimens will consist of the following:

  1. You will get home where you need to lie down and then carefully place your feet above your heart, so that the local anesthetic will wear off faster. This will prevent you from feeling any throbbing pain that’s usually associated if you continue to walk around while the anesthetic is wearing off.
  2. Because in around one to two hours the numbing agent will wear off, you should take Ibuprofen or Tylenol to manage your pain.
  3. Post surgery bleeding is normal and it will occur. Because of that, additional dressing should be placed over the toe and the initial dressing or bandage should not be removed. 

The foot needs to be kept dry and clean until the next day when you'll:

  1. Soak your feet or your foot with bandage on for ten to twenty minutes, two to three times a day.
  2. Dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom or table salt per pint of warm water.
  3. After the feet have been soaked properly, the bandages should be removed carefully. When it comes to applying the prescribed ointments\creams or antibiotic solutions, you should apply them into the groove where the ingrown nail previously existed.
  4. A new dressing or bandage should be placed on the wound and this step should be repeated for the entire duration of the recovery.
  5. There are chances that you'll experience drainage from the wound and if that happens, you should know that it's completely normal.
  6. Unless it dramatically increases, redness around the surgical area is normal.

Amerigel Treatment

If your doctor has prescribed Amerigel Aftercare Treatment for dressing your wounds, you should know that it's quite good and it will do the following:

  1. Clean the wound properly thanks to its powerful ingredients.
  2. Absorb chemical drainage.
  3. Eliminate the needs of soaking the wound in warm water.
  4. Usually heals the wound 1 week faster compared to traditional methods.
  5. It's a topical antibiotic.
  6. Only requires a single change of dressing versus two to three when using traditional methods

Using Amerigel

Using Amerigel is frankly very easy, as you'll see shortly:

  1. After you bathe or shower, you should dry the surgical site and apply the wound dressing on top of the nail bed (be sure you don't get the cream on your good skin). You'll feel a bit of stinging, but don't worry, because this is normal.
  2. You should apply two by two inch gauze over the toe and use a loose band aid to cover it. 

Ingrown toenail surgery is not as painful and as complex as most surgeries, but it does require a certain degree of aftercare. By following these tips, you'll easily be able to easily care for your toe and make sure that it heals properly.

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: November 20, 2013 10:58 AM
Next scheduled update: November 20, 2015 10:58 AM
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