Natural Remedy for Ingrown Toenails

Toenail care is probably not high on your list of skills to master, but when an ingrown nail is bothering you, it's amazing how quickly you can develop an interest in the subject. Of all the minor ills in our lives, this is among the most preventable. But once an ingrown nail is on the cutting edge of your concerns, follow these steps to put it in its place. 

  1. Soak Your Feet
    Fill a five-gallon bucket with about two gallons of hot water. Add several spoonfuls of salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Soak your problem foot for 15 to 20 minutes each day. Hot water softens the skin around the ingrown nail while the salt helps combat infection and reduces swelling.
  2. Cotton Care
    After you've soaked your feet, wash off the salt with warm, soapy water, rinse, and let your feet dry. Pull a small piece of cotton from a cotton ball and smear it with some antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin. Roll the cotton into a thin tube between your fingertips. This little tube needs to get between the sharp edge of the nail and the tender skin it's cutting into. Dip a clean toothpick into alcohol to sterilize it. Use the toothpick to carefully poke the cotton underneath the edge of your toenail. With the edge of your nail cushioned by cotton instead of cutting into your skin, you should feel less pain. If you find that pressure from the cotton creates extra pain, use less. Undo your first attempt, and try again with a smaller roll.
  3. Keep Feet Clean
    Put on a clean pair of socks every day. While you can't keep feet completely germ-free, you reduce the risk of infection you keep them as clean as possible. Whenever you take a bath or shower, be sure to scrub your feet well with a soapy washcloth. Afterward, smear an antibiotic ointment onto your toe. 
  4. Open Ended Shoes
    Wear shoes that are open at the end, like sandals or flip flops. Tight shoes just exacerbate the problem because you're jamming the nail even deeper into skin that already hurts. 
  5. Try cutting your toenail into an angle like a "v", when the nail grows out it allows it to have less pressure on the outer corners and helps the nail to come free from the corners. Also, try cutting the tender skin the nail is digging into. The skin will be very tender but the pressure release from the skin not being poked by the nail will help. 

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