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Treatments for ingrown nails

There are several things you can do to help yourself when infected with an ingrown toenail.

Picture of an ingrown toe nail
Dianne Tyndall

You can start by soaking your ingrown toenail for about 30 minutes or more in a warm water bath to help soften the nail. When bath is finished completely dry toes and foot, then insert a small piece of a cotton ball from one side of the nail to the other beneath the ingrown nail. This will lift the nail to help it grow over time past the ingrown tissue the nail is growing into. Be sure to change the cotton daily until your nail has grown past the skin.

You can also use over-the-counter nail softeners but do not use if your ingrown nail is infected or if you are diabetic. Consult your physician for the right course of action to use.

When cutting your nails be sure you always use clean clippers and never cut your nails too short.

If you use clippers that others use it is very important to wash them thoroughly before using. Soak clippers in bleach then wash with hand soap under running water to remove contaminates that may have hung on to the metal.

If you have really hard nails always soak them in a tub of warm water before cutting this will soften them up making it easier to trim.

Use an emery board to smooth nail edges so that they don’t snag on clothing or the carpet and rip your nail to the quick.

Do not wear tight fitting socks, pantyhose, boots or shoes they will only make matters worse. Try opting for open toed shoes when you can.

Wearing white socks are always a better choice than colored because if you have any leakage from infection you will be able to see the drainage on a white sock better then a darker one.

Reasons for ingrown toe nail can be from but not limited to: stubbing your toe or improper nail trimming.

Beware of infections:

If your toe nail becomes infected you should seek medical help by either contacting your primary health care physician or a podiatrist who is a doctor that specializes in feet problems.

If you are a diabetic be sure to see your doctor immediately because diabetics can easily loose a toe or even a foot to an infection relatively quickly.