How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail at Home

Are you suffering from an ingrown toenail? You don’t have to suffer in silence! We’ll show you how to treat it from the comfort of your own home. Don’t let the discomfort of this common condition keep you from living your best life!

Quick facts: Treating Ingrown Toenail At Home

  • ✅ Soaking the foot and toenail in warm water is an effective treatment for ingrown toenails. Source: Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ Keeping the toenail and skin clean and dry can help prevent ingrown toenails. Source: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • ✅ Trimming the nail correctly and avoiding tight shoes can help reduce the risk of ingrown toenails. Source: Cleveland Clinic
  • ✅ Using a topical antibiotic ointment on the toenail can help prevent infection. Source: WebMD
  • ✅ Using cotton and dental floss, gently separating the toenail from the skin may help treat an ingrown toenail. Source: Harvard Health Publishing
  • Checkout this video:

    Diagnose the Ingrown Toenail

    If you think you have an ingrown toenail, it’s important to diagnose the condition accurately. To do this, you should look closely at the area and see if the nail has grown into the flesh and how severe the problem is.

    The best way to diagnose an ingrown toenail is to take a look at the overall shape of the nail and to look for redness and tenderness in the area. Knowing the type of ingrown toenail you have is important so that you can properly treat it.

    Check for signs of infection

    When diagnosing an ingrown toenail, one of the main things you need to look for is signs of infection. These can range from redness and tenderness around the area, to warmth and oozing discharge. To diagnose an infection, use a clean cloth to gently separate the edges of the nail and look for any pus or discolored fluid. If you can see a yellow-tinged liquid, or if it smells bad, these are signs that there is an infection present.

    In addition to checking for signs of infection, you should also check for signs of nail damage or trauma. Look for bruising, swelling or any cuts around the area of your ingrown toenail. Also be sure to inspect your shoes and socks for possible sources of pressure that may have caused the ingrown nail in the first place – this could be tight socks or shoes that don’t offer enough room for your toes. You should also look at your nails themselves – if they’re curved too deeply into either side they could be putting additional pressure on the surrounding skin which can lead to an ingrown toe nail.

    Identify the cause of the ingrown toenail

    When it comes to diagnosing the cause of an ingrown toenail, there are a few different possibilities. The most common causes of an ingrown toenail include:

    • Tight shoes
    • Improper nail trimming
    • Superficial trauma to the toe (such as stubbing your toe), or incorrect gait.

    All of these can lead to an ingrown toenail and should be ruled out when attempting treatment.

    Additionally, if you’ve had recurrent issues with your feet and toes, especially infections or fungal growths, you may need further medical attention. In some cases, skin conditions like psoriasis can also contribute to the development and recurrence of ingrown nails. If any of these sound like a potential factor in your case, make sure to consult with a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

    Prepare for Treatment

    Before performing any type of home treatment for an ingrown toenail, there are certain steps that should be taken in order to ensure the treatment is successful. Preparing for the treatment is the first step and involves familiarizing yourself with the proper technique and gathering the necessary supplies. Let’s take a look at what needs to be done:

    • Familiarize yourself with the proper technique.
    • Gather the necessary supplies.

    Gather the necessary supplies

    When it comes to treating an ingrown toenail at home, the first step is to gather the necessary supplies. You will need:

    • Cotton balls
    • Tweezers
    • Nail file
    • Rubbing alcohol or antiseptic (to cleanse any areas that require cutting)
    • Antibiotic ointment
    • Bandages

    Additionally, you may want to have on hand some Q-tips and scissors. Having these items ready before you begin can save you time and make the process easier. Once you have all of your supplies on hand, it’s time to start treating your ingrown nail.

    Soak the foot in warm water


    To soak the affected foot:

    • Fill a bowl with warm water and add some Epsom salts.
    • Soak the foot for half an hour twice a day until improvement has been made.
    • The warm water helps relax the tendon as well as soften surrounding skin and infected tissue.

    Once done soaking, use tweezers to gently pull out any loose skin or pus and slough away dead skin before applying antibiotic ointment on the area.

    Treat the Ingrown Toenail

    If you are experiencing discomfort or pain due to an ingrown toenail, you may be able to successfully treat the ingrown toenail at home. Home treatments typically involve soaking the toe in warm water and using a sterilized needle to pull away the corner of the nail that is pressing into the skin. Additionally, you can use tape or specialized padding to protect the affected area from further irritation.

    Let’s look at the steps to properly treat an ingrown toenail at home:

    Trim the nail carefully

    Trimming your ingrown toenail properly is an important step in relieving the discomfort and preventing further irritation. If you have an ingrown toenail, use a sterile pair of manicure scissors or nail cutter to carefully trim the affected nail. Cut it straight across, and be careful not to cut the edges of the nail too close to the skin.

    Make sure that you are trimming only a small amount at a time and be meticulous about cleaning any instruments used before putting them away. Avoid trying to dig out or pull off any of the ingrown part of your nail, as this can lead to infection.

    Apply an antiseptic ointment

    Applying antiseptic ointment to the affected area is a great first step in treating an ingrown toenail at home. This can help reduce the chance of infection and keep the area clean.

    You should apply a thin layer of antiseptic ointment such as Neosporin or Fucidin cream over the affected area, then gently massage it in for a few minutes. If you have an open wound due to cutting away part of the nail, thoroughly clean the wound and surrounding areas with soap and water afterwards. This can help lower your chances of developing an infection as well as reducing pain and inflammation associated with the ingrown toenail.

    Secure the nail with a bandage

    Securing the nail with a bandage is an important step in treating an ingrown toenail at home. To do this, you’ll need some sterile gauze and medical tape.

    1. First, place a square of gauze between the side of the toe and the ingrown nail, making sure it’s snug.
    2. Then wrap medical tape around the toe in a figure-eight pattern to secure it in place.

    This helps keep the ingrown nail from digging into your skin while it grows out. It will also help reduce pain and swelling. Once you’ve applied the bandage, be sure to wear shoes that fit properly to give your toe room to heal properly.

    Follow Up Treatment

    Once the initial infection has been taken care of, it is important to take steps to prevent recurrence of the ingrown toenail. This includes wearing properly fitting shoes and cutting your toenails correctly. In addition, keeping the area around the nail clean and dry can help prevent further infection.

    Let’s look at some other follow up treatments that can help:

    Change the bandage regularly

    It is important to change the bandage regularly when treating an ingrown toenail at home. The wound should be covered with a dry, sterile dressing or bandage, and the dressing should be changed at least once a day. It is recommended that the area is kept clean and dry in between dressing changes. If needed, an antibacterial ointment can be applied before applying the new bandage.

    During the healing process, it may also be beneficial to soak the foot in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes every day to reduce inflammation and encourage healing. It is essential to consult a doctor if any signs of infection occur such as redness, swelling, pain or pus drainage from the affected area.

    Monitor for signs of infection

    It is important to monitor for signs of infection when treating an ingrown toenail at home. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to infection. Signs of infection may include redness, swelling, tenderness, and discharge from the area around the nail. If any of these signs are present or worsening over time, you should consider seeing a medical professional for further care.

    If you decide to treat the ingrown toenail at home and do not notice any signs of infection after a few days, it’s still recommended that you follow up with your doctor for confirmation that the toe has healed correctly. This will help ensure that any underlying issues are addressed and prevent future issues with ingrown toenails.

    Consult a doctor if necessary

    If at-home treatment of an ingrown toenail is not successful or the pain is unbearable, it may be time to seek medical help. If the nail has become infected, if there is extreme redness and swelling, or if a non-surgical treatment option has not been successful, medical assistance should be sought.

    Consulting a doctor will ensure that proper diagnosis and treatment are received.

    A doctor can provide more aggressive care options such as:

    • Antibiotics to take orally
    • Injectable steroids for more severe cases of ingrown toenail.

    They may also surgically remove the ingrown nail entirely – especially if further infection or damage could occur, resulting in severe infection or other illnesses. Whatever course of action taken should be discussed in detail with a healthcare professional for best results.

    FAQs about: Treating Ingrown Toenail At Home

    Q: What causes an ingrown toenail?

    A: Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the nail grow into the skin of the toe instead of growing over the top of the toe. They may be caused by several factors such as ill-fitting shoes, improper cutting of the toenail, or injury to the toe.

    Q: How can I treat an ingrown toenail at home?

    A: Soaking the affected toe in warm water for 10 minutes a few times a day can help reduce pain and swelling. You can also use over-the-counter antiseptic creams to help reduce infection. If the ingrown toenail is severe, it may need to be treated by a doctor.

    Q: Are there any preventative measures for ingrown toenails?

    A: Yes, there are several preventative measures you can take such as wearing properly fitted shoes, cutting your toenails straight across and not too short, and avoiding activities that can cause injury to the toe.

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