Ingrown Toenails (cont.)
Ingrown Toenails Treatment
Self-Care at Home
If it is early in the course of the ingrown toenail, then home care may be successful in preventing the need for surgery.
- Soak the foot in warm water four times a day. You do not need to add soap,
salts, or antibacterial agents to the water.
- Wash the foot, including the affected area, twice a day with soap and water. Keep the foot clean and dry during the rest of the day.
- Do not wear high heels or tight-fitting shoes. Consider wearing sandals, if
possible, until the condition clears up.
- Try to lift up the corner of the nail that is digging into the skin. Take a small piece of cotton or gauze and roll it between your fingers to form a small roll or wick. Then place the roll between the nail and the skin to keep it elevated. This is painful but is the most important part of home treatment. After every soaking, try to push the roll a little farther in. Change the roll out every day. It may take from
seven to 15 days for the nail to grow out so that it does not poke into the skin any longer.
- You may take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
- If you see no improvement within three days, call your doctor.
Allison Harvey, MD, FACEP
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