Identify the Problem
Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. They occur when the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing redness, swelling, and often infection. To start treating your bad ingrown toenail, you must first identify the problem.
Prepare a Soothing Foot Soak
Fill a basin with warm water and add a tablespoon of Epsom salt. Soak your foot in this mixture for about 15-20 minutes to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. This soothing foot soak is an essential step in treating a bad ingrown toenail.
Gently Lift the Corner of the Nail
Using a clean pair of tweezers, gently lift the edge or corner of the ingrown toenail upward. Be careful not to dig into the skin or cause any further damage. This helps relieve pressure and allows proper growth of the nail.
Apply an Antibiotic Ointment
After lifting the nail, clean the affected area with mild soap and water. Pat it dry and then apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to prevent any infection. Cover the toe with a sterile bandage.
Wear Proper Footwear
When dealing with a bad ingrown toenail, it's crucial to wear comfortable shoes that provide enough room for your toes. Opt for open-toe shoes or those with a wider toe box to relieve pressure on the affected area and promote healing.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
If the pain, redness, or infection worsens, or if home remedies aren't providing relief, it's important to seek professional help from a podiatrist. They can provide further treatment options, including partial nail removal or antibiotics for severe cases.
Prevent Future Ingrown Toenails
To prevent future occurrences, always trim your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too short. Additionally, choose shoes with proper fit and avoid wearing tight socks that can put undue pressure on your toes. Proper foot hygiene is key to avoiding bad ingrown toenails.