red ingrown toenailMore sunny days means more active days.  But if you’re experiencing pain from an ingrown toenail, outdoor activity may be out of the question.  Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get relief.  The tips below can help you treat and prevent ingrown nails. However, if you have diabetes, nerve damage, circulation problems or have any sign of infection, don’t try to treat your condition at home -- call your podiatrist and make an appointment right away.  

1. Try a Foot Soak

Soak the affected foot in a tub of room temperature water mixed with a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts. Be sure to dry your feet completely after each soak. Do this 3-4 times a day for 5-10 minutes. You can try this method for soaking your nail.

2. Give Your Toe a Massage

Gently massage the area around the nail to reduce inflammation and ease the skin fold away from the nail edge.  

3. Prevent Infection

Use antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin around the nail to prevent infection

4. Relieve Pain

Place tiny pieces of sterile, moist cotton between the ingrown nail and the skin to provide pain relief.

5. Wear Sandals

With warm days ahead, wearing sandals can give your painful piggy some needed space and air.

5. Go Shoe Shopping

Shoes that are too tight or too short may be at fault for inducing an ingrown toenail. Find shoes that have a roomy toe box if you are prone to ingrown toenails.

6. Avoid Tight Socks

If your socks are too tight they can aggravate the pain of your condition. 

7. Trim Your Toenails Properly

Aim to cut your nails straight across, and avoid digging into the corners to prevent ingrown nails. (video)

8. Avoid Nail Salons

Many salons don’t sterilize their instruments or foot baths properly.  Show your toes some love with a do-it-yourself home pedicure.

Don’t miss out on all your favorite spring activities. If you still have pain after trying these home remedies, or if you’ve had repeated ingrown nails, call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.


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