Toenail extraction is a prevalent procedure carried out to address various nail conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal infections, or trauma. While the concept of toenail removal may seem daunting, comprehending the stages of healing following toenail removal can alleviate concerns and offer reassurance. An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge or side of your toenail pierces or penetrates the soft tissues of your toe. This can be triggered by footwear, toe or nail injuries, or improper nail trimming. Minor cases of ingrown toenails can cause discomfort and may resolve on their own as the nail grows out or with simple at-home remedies. However, some ingrown toenails can become inflamed,
extremely painful, and infected. If your ingrown toenail is swollen, discharging pus or blood feels heated to the touch, and hinders your mobility by causing pain, it is imperative to consult a podiatrist. In situations involving severe ingrown toenails, your podiatrist will likely recommend surgical intervention. The recovery process after toenail removal is not lengthy, particularly if treatment is sought early rather than after the infection has progressed. Familiarizing yourself with the anticipated stages of recovery following toenail removal will aid in planning and alleviate any apprehensions you may have about the recuperation journey. This article will delve into the distinct phases of healing following toenail removal, commencing from the initial post-operative period until complete recovery.
What are the treatment options?
From home remedies to surgical intervention, toenail removal has different treatment options. It varies from nail clipping, splinting, and surgery. However, it is a minor procedure performed by the podiatrist under local anesthesia. The surgeries depend on the type of toenail removal or severity of ingrowth. Three main types are wedge resection, toenail removal, and matrixectomy.
Types of Ingrown Toenails:
To understand stages of healing following toenail removal you must know about the tpe of ingrown toenails. Generally, there are two types of ingrown toenails,
1. A spike of the nail penetrates the flesh
2. The nail has curled over some time into the skin at its edges.
Other than these types, the ingrowth is distinguished by the severity of the matter.
Preparation for Toenail Removal or Stages of healing following toenail removal
Before the toenail removal procedure, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or a podiatrist who specializes in foot and nail care. As mentioned, the severity of the ingrown toenail will decide the treatment plan. They will assess the condition of your toenail and determine if removal is necessary. Preparing for the procedure may involve trimming the nail, avoiding certain medications that can increase bleeding risks, and discussing any concerns or questions with the healthcare provider.
The Day of Toenail Removal
On the day of the toenail removal, you will typically be scheduled for a visit to the podiatrist’s office or any healthcare facility primary or secondary. The stages of healing following toenail removal procedure can be performed under local anesthesi, ensuring minimal discomfort during the process. It will take less than ten minutes to perform the complete procedure. The podiatrist will remove the toenail using specialized tools, ensuring that the affected area is adequately cleaned and prepared for healing.
Immediate Post-Surgery Care
Following toenail removal, the podiatrist will provide instructions for immediate post-surgery care. This may include keeping the foot elevated, applying a sterile dressing to the wound, and taking prescribed pain medication or antibiotics, if necessary. It is essential to follow these instructions carefully to promote optimal healing from toenail removal and prevent infection. Other instructions for safe recovery from toenail removal may include,
· Keep the foot dry and clean, hygiene is a must.
· Keep the bandage/dressing for 24 hours, do not wash your feet.
· Minor bleeding is normal, do not remove the dressing instead add gauze.
· Keep your feet elevated to control bleeding.
· After the anesthesia wears off, take pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
· After 24 hours, change the bandage twice a day.
· Soak your feet in lukewarm salt water or Epsom salt water for 5 to 10 minutes.
· Dry your feet, and re-do the bandage. Continue for 2 to 3 weeks or unless the drainage stops.
· Avoid heavy spices, alcohol, or smoking. It delays the healing process.
The process of toenail removal healing goes to four to six weeks. The healing needs patience and dedication, a brief account is mentioned below;
The First Week: Early Progression
Stages of healing following toenail removal begins with wound healing.Throughout the initial week following toenail removal, the main focus revolves around the advancement of wound healing and the prevention of infection. It is normal to encounter some discomfort, swelling, and slight bleeding within this timeframe. The podiatrist might recommend regular dressing changes, maintaining cleanliness and dryness of the foot, and refraining from activities that exert excessive pressure on the recuperating area.
Week Two: Formation of Granulation Tissue and New Tissue
As the second week unfolds, notable progress is observed in the healing process after toenail removal, characterized by the emergence of granulation tissue. This particular tissue, exhibiting a healthy hue of pink or red, actively contributes to the overall healing mechanism. The podiatrist may suggest employing gentle cleansing techniques for the wound, along with the utilization of topical ointments or medications to aid in healing and prevent any potential infections.
Third Week: Sustained Healing and Safeguarding Measures
By the time the third week arrives, the healing process persists, and the prominence of the granulation tissue becomes more apparent. It becomes crucial to safeguard the healing area during this phase to avert any form of harm or damage. The podiatrist might recommend the usage of protective footwear or bandages as a means to provide cushioning and prevent inadvertent injury.
Fourth Week: Nail Bed Maturation
As the fourth week comes into view, the nail bed embarks on its journey of maturation, and the granulation tissue undergoes a gradual decline. The podiatrist, a specialist in foot care, diligently assesses the progress of the healing process and guides the removal of any remaining sutures or the implementation of alternative dressing techniques. It is crucial to acknowledge that complete healing after the removal of the toenail and the restoration of the nail may require additional weeks or even months.
Stepping into the Fifth Week: Embracing Complete Recovery
Upon entering the fifth week and beyond, the healing process should be well underway. The wound ought to be substantially closed, and the nail bed gradually reverts to its natural state. To ensure a successful recuperation, it is imperative to adhere to the podiatrist’s instructions diligently. This entails maintaining optimal hygiene practices, refraining from wearing constricting footwear, and safeguarding the healing area until the journey to complete recovery is accomplished. This completes the journey of healing after toenail removal.
Tips to Facilitate Optimal Healing
· Uphold impeccable cleanliness and dryness of the foot to prevent the onset of infection.
· Comply meticulously with the prescribed medication regimen.
· Avoid engaging in physically demanding activities that exert excessive strain on the healing region.
· Don comfortable shoes that provide adequate support to aid in the healing process.
· Promptly report any indications of infection or delayed healing to the healthcare provider.
Toenail removal is a prevalent procedure performed to address an array of nail conditions. Acquiring an understanding of the distinct stages of the healing process can bestow individuals undergoing toenail removal with a heightened sense of tranquility. From the immediate post-surgery care to the attainment of complete recovery, each stage assumes paramount importance in ensuring proper healing and favorable outcomes. By diligently adhering to the recommendations of a qualified healthcare professional and nurturing good foot care practices, individuals can actively foster optimal healing after the procedure of toenail removal and triumphantly attain a state of complete recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will toenail removal be painful?
Toenail removal is usually performed under local anesthesia, ensuring minimal discomfort during the procedure. Post-surgery pain can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
2. How long does it take for a toenail to grow back?
After toenail removal, it can take several months for the toenail to grow back completely. The exact duration may vary based on individual factors.
3. Are there any risks or complications associated with toenail removal?
While toenail removal is generally safe, there is a slight risk of infection, bleeding, or allergic reactions to medications. It is crucial to follow post-surgery care instructions and report any concerning symptoms to the healthcare provider.