Let’s talk about antibiotics and ingrown toenails
and answer some of your frequently asked questions about it.
Can antibiotics cure an ingrown toenail?
The answer is no, they can’t! An ingrown toenail is caused by a splinter of nail penetrating the skin, acting as a foreign body. That’s what setting the infection up in the first place because that entry point into the skin where the skin has been pierced by the nail is what’s allowing the bacteria in and that infection to get set up. That foreign body, that splinter, has to come out in order for the skin to recover and the infection to be cleared. You might have antibiotics as well as having ingrown toenail surgery, just to help clear up any of that bacterial load. But it’s the ingrown toenail that has to come out in order to get rid of the infection, ultimately.
Can antibiotics be used to treat an ingrown toenail?
The answer is yes and no.
Antibiotics are helpful in the acute stage, where you’ve got swelling and maybe pus or oozing from the wound to help reduce the bacterial load. But, at the end of the day, the ingrown toenail itself needs to be removed because that’s a foreign body, like a splinter that’s causing the infection to be set up in the first place.
What antibiotics treat an ingrown toenail?
The most common antibiotic that you would use as a first line of treatment for that would be Flucloxacillin. However, some people are penicillin sensitive and in that case they would probably be prescribed Erythromycin. *Post production edit* My mate and fellow podiatrist Jonathan Small says Clarithromycin is more likely to be prescribed in cases of Penicillin sensitivity as it has fewer side effects.
Even if you have antibiotics, for an ingrown toenail, it is still very, very, very important for you to have the nail splinter itself removed because it’s the foreign body that’s penetrating the skin that’s causing the skin opening, that’s allowing the bacteria in that setting up that infection.
Just taking antibiotics, it’s not going to fix it. You still need to have that part of the nail removed so that you can get rid of that infection. Save yourself taking a second course, third course, fourth course and then wondering why it’s still there. It’s still there because you have still got the splinter of nail irritating it and that’s got to go!
What is the best thing I can do to fix my ingrown toe nail?
The best thing that you can do to get rid of your ingrown toenail is to seek treatment to remove that splinter of nail as soon as possible. A podiatrist (like me!) is an excellent person to help you with that because we treat people’s foot problems all the time, so we see a lot of these. We have a high level of expertise in doing them because we do them a lot. That’s what we focus on, so you need that (nail splinter) to come out as well as taking your antibiotics to get rid of the actual infection. If it’s already oozing or swollen or weeping or whatever. The splinter has got to come out.
Just the truth, sorry 🙁 😯
Find a podiatrist. (Like me!) Find one soon. Get comfortable and get past this ingrown toenail that’s stopping you from doing the things that you love to do. Hope that helps. Bye for now.