Ingrown toenails are a painful and all too common condition, so knowing how to fix an ingrown toenail is important if you have one. The pain of an ingrown toenail comes from a corner of the toenail digging into the flesh of the toe. The most common causes of ingrown toenails are improperly cut toenails, tight-fitting shoes and injuries. If you do not treat this condition, you run the risk of infection. Therefore, getting treatment as soon as possible is crucial. Thankfully, treating ingrown toenails is fairly easy. If you haven't had a tetanus shot in the last five years or have diabetes, AIDS or poor circulation, you will want to seek medical treatment as your first step. If you don't fit into any of those categories, you can try this simple home treatment to fix your ingrown toenail.
- Soak your foot in warm water at least four times a day. This will soften the skin around the ingrown toenail and in some cases it will pop out on its own. Warm water also helps to ease the pain from the ingrown toenail by relaxing your feet.
- After each time you soak your foot, gently try to pull the ingrown toenail out using your fingernail. Do not pull or yank at the nail or your skin, as this can cause lesions that can get infected. You just want to try to aid the ingrown toenail in popping out of your skin, you don't want to try to yank it out.
- Keep your foot clean and dry at all times. You may even want to consider wearing sandals until your ingrown toenail clears up. Your feet tend to get sweaty in closed-off shoes, and sweat can lead to infection. If an infection occurs, seek medical treatment immediately.
If after three days you see no improvement in your ingrown toenail, it is a good idea to seek medical treatment. There are several treatments your doctor can choose from depending on how deeply the nail has grown, from a splint to cutting the excess tissue away from the nail. Your doctor will also check for infection. If an infection is found, your doctor will probably choose to surgically remove part or all of the nail.