How to Take Care of a Removed Toenail

Soak your foot in water a few times a day to sooth and clean your toe.

Photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The idea of having your toenail removed probably grosses you out, but sometimes it's a medical necessity. Ingrown toenails or stubborn infections that won't heal may require your doctor to take off the entire nail, so you can start fresh and grow a new one. Taking care of your removed toenail isn't hard but it means you'll need to forget about having fashionable feet for a few weeks. Chin up! Once you're on the road to healing, you can go back to the sexy footwear and feel as fierce as ever.

1.

Settle yourself in your bed, lounge chair or another area in which you can be pampered and receive visitors like the royalty you are. Prop your foot up on pillows to reduce swelling and pain, especially on the first day that your toenail's been removed. After that, elevate your foot as much as you can, wherever you are, and try not to put too much pressure on your toe until the swelling's gone down.

2.

Forget about taking the pain -- pop those painkillers on schedule. Your doctor gave them to you for a reason; anti-inflammatories not only take the edge off your pain, but they help manage the swelling in your toe, too.

3.

Soak your toe in a basin of warm water several times daily for the first week after your toenail-ectomy. The water keeps your toe clean, helps healing and probably feels really soothing on your foot about now. Don't forget to wash your hands with soap and water before taking the bandages off your toe, to avoid exposing your nail-less toe to bacteria and germs.

4.

Wrap up your piggie in a fresh gauze bandage after each soak. Keep the dressing dry between soaks, and wear a cotton sock that is comfortable and roomy.

5.

Return to the no-nonsense, sensible shoes rule that you lived by before you discovered the exciting world of fashion. No, it won't kill you, and your toe will thank you for it because it helps the healing process. A roomy shoe with a wide toe-box gives your injury space without the risk of squeezing your digits into a narrow-toed heel. Wear your clodhoppers for two weeks at least, maybe longer if your doctor advises so.

6.

See your doctor for a check up two to three weeks after your toenail removal. You may have noticed by now that your nail is nowhere near growing back, but the skin on your toe has thickened. This is normal and will protect your toe as you go about your daily life again.

Things You'll Need

 

1.Pillows

3.Soap

5.Gauze bandages

7.Loose shoes

2.Pain relievers

4.Basin

6.Cotton socks

 

Tips & Tricks

 

Call your doctor immediately if your toe or or the skin on your foot turns white, black or blue. This is not normal and can mean you've developed a nasty infection or another complication.

 

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