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Suggest treatment for the toe inflammation

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Posted on Sat, 7 May 2016
Question: My right Big Toe is inflamed. I think it may be infected from an ingrown toe nail and it looks like the nail may have a fungus. Does a fungus make your toenail ingrow? I have had it cut out but it has grown back and I am in pain.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Skin of toe infection

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

The skin of toes with ingrown toe nails can become infected. Thing to do right now is get that toe in a hot water soak. You can add salt or epsom salts, or a bit of mild detergent/soap. The more you soak it in hot water (but not so hot it burns the skin), the better - several times a day.

Then, after the inflammation has subsided enough, try to gently pry the nail out - if you are able - try to get some cotton (like from a cotton ball) that you have twirled together, and work it under the inbedded part to lift it. However, if you are unable to get the ingrown part out of the skin, it is time to see a podiatrist.

Toe nail fungi can cause the nail to become deformed. It doesn't necessarily cause an ingrown nail, but it does cause thickening and deformity, so it is possible. The toe nail fungus can be treated later as it is not urgent (or possibly at the same time as the ingrown nail situatio if the dr. you see feels the whole nail should be removed.) Regarding treatment for a toe nail fungus, opt for topical treatment such as antifungal nail polish (sold by prescription). It may not be as strong as an oral antifungal, but it is much safer for your liver.

I hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3135 Questions

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Suggest treatment for the toe inflammation

Brief Answer: Skin of toe infection Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, The skin of toes with ingrown toe nails can become infected. Thing to do right now is get that toe in a hot water soak. You can add salt or epsom salts, or a bit of mild detergent/soap. The more you soak it in hot water (but not so hot it burns the skin), the better - several times a day. Then, after the inflammation has subsided enough, try to gently pry the nail out - if you are able - try to get some cotton (like from a cotton ball) that you have twirled together, and work it under the inbedded part to lift it. However, if you are unable to get the ingrown part out of the skin, it is time to see a podiatrist. Toe nail fungi can cause the nail to become deformed. It doesn't necessarily cause an ingrown nail, but it does cause thickening and deformity, so it is possible. The toe nail fungus can be treated later as it is not urgent (or possibly at the same time as the ingrown nail situatio if the dr. you see feels the whole nail should be removed.) Regarding treatment for a toe nail fungus, opt for topical treatment such as antifungal nail polish (sold by prescription). It may not be as strong as an oral antifungal, but it is much safer for your liver. I hope this helps.