An ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis) is a common nail impairment where the sides of the toenail cut into the soft skin tissue of your toe. The growing nail causes the skin to break creating a wound which bacteria can enter, making it susceptible to infections. This can cause severe pain, irritation, inflammation and redness. Ingrown toenails primarily affect the big toe but they can also be found on other toes.
You can very easily treat ingrown toenails at home, unless you have diabetes, which requires that you go see a doctor or foot care specialist immediately. Here are some tips to treat ingrown toenails at home:
- Immerse your feet in warm water. This is a common practice when treating ingrown toenails. Fill a bucket with warm water and soak your feet for roughly 15-20 minutes. Do this routine 3-4 times a day. This helps to reduce the swelling and relieves tenderness. Make sure to dry your feet properly.
- Apply antibiotic ointment. Rub an antibiotic ointment on the affected toenail and properly wrap it in a bandage.
- Use a Q-tip or dental floss. Gently pull away the affected nail from the reddened skin by sliding a Q-tip or dental floss under it.
- Trim your toenails. Try to trim the growing toenails, if you can.
Remember, these tips are only to relieve pain. Proper treatment from a qualified podiatrist should be sought.
Whether your ingrown toenail is infected or getting out of hand, it is important that you get it checked out by a doctor who specializes in foot and ankle care. At Joseph Stuto, DPM, we treat a range of foot and ankle conditions such as hammertoes, fungal infections, skin problems, arthritis, and heel spurs. You can call our podiatrists Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Dr. Joseph C. Stuto located in Brooklyn, New York. Let us provide the best care and treatment you need for your foot problem. Schedule an appointment today by calling (718) 624-7537.