Worst Ingrown Toenails? Calvin's Nail Treatment
How to Get Rid of Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail can be painful and unpleasant. However, there are things you can do to stop your toenail from growing into your skin. Doing so may even prevent you from having to get surgery to remove the ingrown toenail! Just make sure that your ingrown toenail is not infected by checking for warmth, pus, redness, and swelling. If you notice any of these signs of infection, see a doctor.
Packing an Ingrown Toenail
Check with your doctor or podiatrist first if you are diabetic.It is important to keep your feet clean and to check for problems, such as ingrown toenails, if you are diabetic. However, your doctor may prefer that you do not try to treat an ingrown toenail yourself for safety reasons. Call your doctor and ask before you attempt any home treatments.
Soak your foot in a mixture of cool to warm water and Epsom salt.Hot water will cause the area around your ingrown toenail to swell, so don’t use hot water.Do this for 15-30 minutes at least twice daily. The goal here is twofold: to soften the toenail and prevent the ingrown nail from becoming infected.
Gather your tools and get ready.Get a cotton round, cotton ball, or any unflavored or unwaxed dental floss ready, a pair of disinfected tweezers, and a toenail lifter.
Keep your toenail slightly raised.Using a disinfected tool to place a small piece of cotton or unflavored dental floss between your toenail and the skin should keep the ingrown toenail from coming back.
- If you are using a cotton round or cotton ball, remove a small piece of cotton with the tweezers. If you are using unflavored dental floss, cut a 6 inches (15 cm) piece of dental floss.
- Lift the corner of the ingrown toenail with the disinfected tweezers and gently work the cotton or dental floss under the nail. If desired, you may apply an antiseptic ointment, such as Neosporin, to the cotton or floss before sliding it under the nail.
- Do not try to put the cotton or dental floss under the nail if the nail bed looks swollen or red.
- Remove the cotton or dental floss daily, cleanse the area, and replace with new cotton or dental floss to reduce the risk of infection.
Give your toe some air!Don't wear socks or shoes when you're at home.
Check back.If you keep the cotton or dental floss splint in place and treat your feet well, your ingrown toenail should grow back out within a few weeks.
- Replace the cotton every day to keep the toe from becoming infected. If the toenail is painful, replace the cotton every other day, checking daily for infection.
Ask your healthcare provider about taping.If your nails are still cutting into the skin, then you may also consider trying taping. Taping is when you secure a band-aid to the bottom of your toe and pull the skin away from the location where the nail is cutting into the nailbed. The trick is to move the skin away from the offending nail with the help of a band-aid. This can decrease pressure in the area, and if done properly, promote drainage and drying. However, you may want to ask your healthcare provider to show you the proper way to do this because it can be difficult to master.
Trying Unverified Home Remedies
Soak your foot in cool water that's been treated with a povidone-iodine solution.Put one or two teaspoons of povidone-iodine into cool soaking water instead of Epsom salts. Povidone-iodine is an effective antiseptic.
- Keep in mind that this will not treat an ingrown toenail, but it may help to prevent an infection.
Apply lemon juice and honey and bandage the toe overnight.Apply some fresh lemon juice and honey or Manuka honey to the toe.Then wrap the toe with gauze and leave the bandage on overnight. The lemon and honey may help to fight the infection overnight.
- Lemon has antimicrobial effects, but it will not get rid of an ingrown toenail.
Use oils to soften the skin around the toenail.Oils applied to the toenails can help moisturize and soften the skin, reducing the pressure put on the toenail when you have to wear shoes. Try the following oils for fast relief:
- Tea tree oil: this essential oil is both an antibacterial and an antifungal agent that smells great.
- Baby oil: another great-smelling mineral oil, this doesn't have the antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil, but works great for softening the skin.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Keep toenails at a moderate length and trim them straight across.Nails that are rounded have a higher chance of growing into the skin around the toes, creating problems.
- Use toenail clippers or nail scissors to trim toenails. Ordinary nail clippers are small enough that they tend to leave sharp edges near the corner of the toenail.
- Optimally, try to cut your toenails once every 2-3 weeks. Unless your toenails grow extremely fast, cutting your toenails often won't give them a good chance to become ingrown.
Avoid getting pedicures while your ingrown toenail is still bothering you.Pedicures can aggravate the skin underneath the nail; pedicure instruments can be less than sanitary, worsening or causing an infection.
Make sure your shoes are the right size.Shoes that are too small and press on your toenails can easily cause them to become ingrown. Opt for roomier, bigger shoes instead of smaller, tighter ones.
- Try to wear open-toed shoes to prevent pressure on your toe. Since your toe should also be covered, use bandages or wear socks with sandals. Although this is unfashionable, it is better than having to get surgery.
Be on the lookout if you regularly get ingrown toenails.If you get an ingrown toenail and do not care for it properly, then you are likely to get it again.However, you can take steps to prevent that from happening.
Apply antibiotic cream to your feet twice a day.After you get out of the shower in the morning, and once before going to bed, apply antibiotic cream to the ingrown toenail and surrounding area.Antibiotic cream will help reduce the risk of infection, which can lead to complications and increased pain.
Soak your feet in cool to warm, soapy water for 15 to 30 minutes.After soaking your feet, rinse them well to get all the soap off. Then, dry them well with a clean towel. You may also apply some Neosporin and a bandaid to protect the ingrown toenail area.
QuestionHow can I tell if it is getting infected?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSmell should be the first clue. Swelling with redness, drainage, and sensitivity to the lightest touch are good indicators also.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I treat an ingrown toenail on the outside of my little toe?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry some of the suggestions in the article, like using a slice of lemon and bandaging the toe, soaking it in warm soapy water, and putting antibiotics on it. Although you can't use a cotton ball on that small of an area, use tweezers as many time a day as you can to grab the edge and slowly try to pull the nail up. The more puss that comes out, the better it'll feel.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I can't fit cotton under my toenail?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry soaking your feet in water that is as hot as you can tolerate. Do this until your toenail feels softer and you can lift the edge. Keep doing this daily until you're able to fit the cotton.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you I ballet and have to wear tight shoes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to refrain from using your ballet shoes as much as possible, let your feet breathe. Make sure that you are cutting your nails correctly, and choose the cotton ball method, and use some tea tree oil to soften up your nail to ensure the correction is made.Thanks!
QuestionMy toe is really infected, but I don't want to go to the doctor. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo to the doctor. If the infection gets really bad, you risk losing your toe. Your doctor will be able to prescribe you oral antibiotics or antibiotic ointment to take care of the infection. He can probably also refer you to a podiatrist who can surgically correct your ingrown toenail.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the whole entire toenail is infected? I already got it removed and it grew back like that.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo back to the doctor ASAP. There is some kind of acid they can apply to prevent it from growing back in the future, but get it looked at sooner rather than later.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have an ingrown toenail if I can't see any infection but my toe is sore?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere could be an ingrown toenail but there could also be other causes, so see your doctor before you take precautionary measures.Thanks!
QuestionShould I cut a V in the middle of my nail?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, you should probably go see a doctor, especially, if you have an infection. If you start cutting it yourself, it may get much worse.Thanks!
QuestionIf any of these don't work, then should I see a foot doctor?Community AnswerAbsolutely. If no home remedies work, it is time to see a doctor.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do when my toe is making green pus?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAn infected ingrown toenail that makes green pus should be treated immediately by a doctor.Thanks!
If you have an ingrown toenail, soak your foot in a mixture of cool to warm water and Epsom salt for 15-30 minutes twice a day. This will soften the toenail and help prevent the ingrown nail from becoming infected. Lift the corner of your toenail with a pair of disinfected tweezers and place a small amount of cotton beneath the nail to keep it from growing into your skin. Replace the cotton daily. However, if the nail bed is swollen or red, you should see your doctor in case of an infection.
- Try to refrain from painting your toenails while they are ingrown. Unnecessary chemicals near the site may cause irritation. Plus, you might not notice any signs of infection for longer if the nail varnish hides any redness and/or discolouration.
- Focus on getting rid of the ingrown toenail instead of waiting and watching as it becomes more painful. If the remedies you try don't work, consult your doctor; you may need help from them to cut/remove the nail, and you might need antibiotics if the toenail is infected.
- Your toenail is very susceptible to infection when it is ingrown, so do your best to keep it covered and clean to avoid serious consequences.
- If your ingrown toenail is really swollen or has pus around it, it is most likely infected. See your doctor for some antibiotics before you insert the cotton or dental floss. Be aware that antibiotics simply reduce the infection and don't get the nail to grow back out, so the cotton or dental floss can be applied along with the antibiotics if your doctor approves of this method.
- If the cotton method along with antibiotics does not work, see your doctor or podiatrist because you may need to have the nail surgically removed.
Things You'll Need
Cool or warm foot soak
Cotton round or cotton ball
Tweezers or toenail lifter
Sources and Citations
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