1) Remove the dressing on the day following your procedure. If you have pain or significant discomfort with the dressing the night of your procedure you may remove it at that time. (If the dressing sticks to the toe, soak it in warm soapy water first to help loosen it.)
2) After removal of your dressing, begin to soak your toe in warm (not hot) soapy water for 15-20 minutes. Avoid dish soap and epsom salts as these can irritate healing skin. Soaking will help promote drainage that occurs as a result of your procedure. Dedicate a specific soaking period, as submerging your toe while showering is not adequate. Repeat the soaking each day until you return for your follow-up appointment, unless your podiatrist tells you otherwise. If you have an excessive amount of drainage, start soaking twice a day and call your podiatrist. Prior to soaking, hydrogen peroxide may also be used to gently flush and clean the procedure site, but avoid constant use as it can slow healing.
3) After soaking, carefully dry your toe with a clean towel and apply a generous amount of antibiotic ointment to each nail procedure site (if more than one). You may use triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin), bacitracin, polysporin, or any similar antibiotic ointment or creme. If you are not sure of what to use, call your podiatrist or ask your pharmacist. Cover the nail with a bandaid (you may also use gauze (2"x2") to pad the nail under the bandaid). If you have a bandaid allergy, use a gauze roll (1" or 2" width will do). Do not let the site remain uncovered. It does not need to "get air to it", as this will dry the drainage and form a scab that will block further drainage at the site, leading to an abcess or infection. Keep antibiotic ointment and a bandaid on the toe at all times outside of soaking.
4) Take all prescribed medication as directed by your podiatrist. This may include an antibiotic (which you should finish completely), as well as anti-inflammatory or pain medications. Call you podiatrist if you develop any adverse reactions to your medications, such as nausea, rashes, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Discontinue your medications immediately if you experience those reactions, unless directed otherwise by your podiatrist when you call.
5) You may expect some symptoms in the first week after the procedure, including mild soreness or throbbing and some redness around the nail itself (along with clear drainage). If you have extended pain that is not controlled with over-the-counter products like ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or Aleve, or if your prescribed medications do not help relieve the pain, call your podiatrist. Pain of this type is uncommon. If you see thick drainage or pus, and if the toe itself is red beyond the immediate vicinity of the nail, then call your podiatrist as this may be an infection.
6) Call the office or your podiatrist if you have any questions
Supply list (see above for specifics): mild liquid soap, antibiotic ointment, bandaids, gauze pad/rolls, hydrogen peroxide. All supplies are also conveniently available in our Nail Surgery Care Pack- ask the staff for more information.
For night or weekend emergency issues, call (317) 773-7787, select your surgeon's voicemail box, and leave a detailed message with your call back number. He/she will then be paged with your message, and will return your call as soon as possible.