treating ingrown toenailIf you have ingrown toenails, you may be wondering if there are any remedies that you can try in the comfort of your own home that could alleviate your discomfort and promote healing. Our podiatrists at Third Coast Foot and Ankle are happy to share the following home remedies in the hope that you can find relief from the common symptoms associated with ingrown toenails, which include pain, tenderness, redness, and/or inflammation.

These remedies have worked for some people in the past, however, there is no guarantee that they will work for you. With that said, here are the remedies: 

1. Soak in Warm Soapy Water

Ingrown toenails respond well to this remedy, which is the simplest on our list! Fill your bathtub or a large basin with warm water and then add a mild, gentle soap. Soak your feet for up to up to 20 minutes. This remedy softens the ingrown toenail and the skin surrounding it. 

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Soak

Follow our instructions above, but instead of adding soap to your water, add a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. This foot soak made our home remedies list because vinegar is a natural astringent that contains antibacterial properties, which kill harmful bacteria that may be present near the site of your ingrown toenail.  

3. Use Antiseptic Ointment 

Try applying antiseptic ointment to that bothersome ingrown toenail! An antiseptic ointment, such as Neosporin, can be purchased over the counter at your local drugstore; its active ingredients will kill bacteria and reduce any inflammation you may be experiencing. 

4. Wear Properly Fitting Shoes and Socks

Wearing breathable socks and properly fitting shoes can not only help you effectively manage your ingrown toenail but also prevent your symptoms from worsening. Tight or ill-fitting shoes can put pressure on the affected area and exacerbate your pain and inflammation, while non-breathable socks can trap moisture and increase the risk of infection.

5. Take an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever

Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever is included on our list of home remedies because these medications tend to do a great job of relieving your pain and reducing inflammation. Before you take an over-the-counter medication, don’t forget to read the dosage instructions. 

When to See a Doctor

It’s important to note that while some people may find one or more of these home remedies effective, these home remedies are not a substitute for the professional medical care that our doctors can offer. Schedule an appointment at Third Coast Foot and Ankle if:  

The Condition is Worsening

If you’ve tried one or more of the above remedies, and your ingrown toenail has shown little to no signs of improvement—and the symptoms you’re experiencing seem to be worsening—then you have good reason to have your toenail examined as soon as possible.

Pain and Swelling are Severe

If your ingrown toenails are causing pain and swelling that is so severe that you can barely walk or stand comfortably, give our office a call. Remember, as unpleasant as the pain may be, it’s important not to attempt to cut into your flesh as a way to treat your ingrown toenails in the comfort of your own home. 

You Believe the Ingrown Toenail is Starting to Get Infected

If you have an ingrown toenail, it’s crucial to always be on the lookout for signs of infection. Infections can occur when bacteria enter the skin through a break or cut caused by the ingrown toenail. Your infection must be promptly addressed with prescription medicine.

If you’re worried that your ingrown toenail is infected—or may become infected—consult with our doctors about securing a prescription for oral antibiotics. Symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail can include redness, warmth, swelling, pain, and pus or drainage. If an infection is detected, oral antibiotics eliminate the infection and stop it from spreading.

Let Third Coast Foot and Ankle Treat Your Ingrown Toenails

Our knowledgeable and friendly podiatrists at Third Coast Foot and Ankle, Dr. Lucy Meier and Dr. Amy Miller-Guhl, can provide effective ingrown toenail treatment to patients of all ages. If your ingrown toenails are bothering you and no home remedies seem to be working, or if ingrown toenails are a recurring foot issue, we’d be glad to help.

You can reach our Oak Creek office by calling 414-764-4500 and our New Berlin office by calling 262-821-1588.

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