How To Remove An Ingrown Toenail
In pain and need to know how to remove an ingrown toenail at home? If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you know the pain that one little nail can cause. The next time you have an ingrown toenail, use the following five steps to remove the nail and relieve your pain without an expensive and inconvenient trip to your doctor’s office.
To remove an ingrown toenail at home you’ll need the following items:
- Nail clippers
- Soaking basin (or your bathtub)
- Cotton gauze
- Bacitracin or a similar antibiotic ointment
- Soak the nail. Fill your soaking basin or bathtub with warm water and soak the foot with the ingrown toenail at least three times a day. Five minutes or so is enough time to soften the skin around the ingrown nail. No soap or salts are necessary during your soaks, but do wash the foot with mild soap at least twice a day and keep the foot dry.
- Trim the nail. Use your nail clippers to cut the ingrown toenail straight across. Do not cut or file the nail into a rounded shape, and never tear your nails. Rounded and jagged nails are much more likely to grow into your skin and turn into a painful ingrown toenail.
- Lift the nail. After you soak your foot, roll a small piece of cotton gauze into a small log to wedge under your nail. Gently lift the corner of the ingrown nail and slide the rolled gauze under the nail. You may want to use some antibiotic ointment to help the gauze slide more easily under the ingrown nail.
- Redirect the nail. Each day you’ll want to push a fresh piece of gauze a little further under the ingrown nail until the nail comes free from the skin. This will be painful because you’ll be “training” the nail to grow the right way. It may take a week or more for the nail to dislodge itself from your skin. If you experience discomfort, take an over the counter pain reliever. If you notice any bleeding, pus or swelling make sure you see your doctor right away.
Ingrown toenails can recur, but you can easily prevent them with routine foot maintenance. Keep your feet clean and dry and trim your toenails regularly. If an ingrown toenail does recur, use the above instructions to remove the offending toenail at home.