You trust your friends. So far they've been loyal, straightforward, and honest. You follow their advice and it works most of the time.

Except when it comes to DIY treatments for ingrown toenails.

Don't get me wrong, DIY treatments have their place. But when it comes to becoming your own bathroom surgeon avoid it at all costs, no matter what your friends tell you. I've had patients try to treat warts and corns, as well as ingrown toenails. The story does not usually end well.

Although you may swear that a particular herb, chicken soup, or cough syrup cuts your cold time in half or lessens your headaches, when it comes to puncturing the skin you just aren't going to have the infection control expertise or know-how to do it correctly and you'll end up lengthening the time of your pain instead of decreasing it. That's because self-treatment can put you at much higher risk for infection.

Now I'm not saying you can't do something to relieve the pain or reduce the inflammation. Of course, you can. Soaking your toe in Epsom salts, lightly massaging the area, and taking an anti-inflammatory can all help. But, these treatments are usually only temporary when it comes to managing ingrown toenail pain.

And for future reference, to prevent ingrown toenails in the first place don't try and scrunch your feet into shoes where your toes have no wiggle room and always, always cut your nails straight across.

To put this nasty toenail problem to rest you're best off seeing a local Seattle podiatrist. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we've been treating ingrown toenails for over 30 years.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "Happy Feet for the Rest of Your Life", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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