It's amazing how something so small as an ingrown toenail can be so dang painful! However, the good news is that ingrown toenails are generally a temporary situation and one that you can successfully treat yourself at home with some simple supplies. And, by enlisting the help of your doctor, you can have your toenail cut so that it will not become ingrown again in the future.
Health Warning: If you have a compromised immune system or diabetes, then something as small and simple as an ingrown toenail can lead to a limb-threatening infection or even death. For this reason, you should always contact your doctor if you have a chronic condition and develop an infection of any type - including an ingrown toenail.
As long as your overall health is good, then use these tips to care for your sore ingrown nail at home:
Soak Your Foot in Epsom Salt and Warm Water
To soften up the nail and relieve some of the pain caused by your ingrown toenail, soak your foot in a basin of warm water with some Epsom salt added to it. You can purchase Epsom salt at any pharmacy.
A soak in an Epsom salt bath will help your ingrown toenail in a few different ways, including:
- pain relief
- swelling relief
- softening of the skin and nail
Soak your foot until the water begins to turn cold, then dry your foot very well and put on some cotton socks and sturdy shoes. Drying your foot well will help to prevent further infection, and the cotton socks will keep your foot dry. Wearing sturdy shoes will prevent you from banging your sore toe on walls or furniture and causing yourself unnecessary pain. It will also prevent accidental breakage of the toenail which could cause it to become further ingrown down the road.
For Further Assistance
If your ingrown toenail is excessively painful or does not resolve itself within a few days time, then you need to seek the assistance of your physician or a podiatrist (like Klein Stanley Jay DPM). The doctor will cut the toenail out of your skin and the pain will be greatly reduced in very short order. Since the malformed toenail will no longer be pushing its way into the tissue on the side of your toe, it will have a chance to heal properly. Your physician can also instruct you on the proper way to trim your nails to avoid future ingrown nails.