Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment

Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment

With every step the pressure from shoes reminds us of the pain of an ingrown toenail. Most of us have experienced an ingrown toenail and will likely experience them again. Though they are annoying and painful, thankfully they can typically be treated at home by following some simple steps.

1. Clean the Nail. Before beginning to treat the infected toenail, be sure you remove any dirt or debris that may have collected under or near the nail. Use water and a gentle soap to assure you are starting with a clean toenail.

2. Soak the Toe. Take a few minutes to soften the skin and nail on the affected toe by soaking it in a tub of hot water. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the water because Epsom salt naturally reduces inflammation. Allow the toe to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes for maximum results.

3. Disinfect the Nail Bed. The red, swollen tissue around an ingrown toenail is a sign of an underlying infection. You have several options to fight the infection. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil (dilute with water according to package directions), and salt water can all be effective ways to put an end to any infection. Simply choose one of these treatment options and apply it to a clean cotton ball and place on the toenail.


4. Gently File the Nail. If needed, file any rough areas on the nail with an emery board to prevent any future problems. In addition to filing, some people find it helpful to place a small piece of a cotton ball underneath the nail between the inflamed skin and the nail to keep the toenail growing in the right direction as the site of the ingrown toenail heals.

Read How to Cut Your Toenails?

5. Take Preventative Measures. Like with many health concerns, your best defense against future ingrown toenails is proper preventative care. Keep toenails trimmed at a proper length and avoid shoes that put excessive pressure around the toenails.

Also read, Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus

If you notice a problem with an ingrown toenail developing, treat it as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening. While home treatment is usually all that is needed in curing an ingrown toenail, if the problem does not improve or worsens, seek medical attention.

Photo credit: TheGirlsNY & Fiona

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