Ingrown toenails can cause significant pain and discomfort if not treated correctly. Podiatrists can treat ingrown toenails for you, but you can also try some treatment options at home to ease symptoms. In this article, we cover treatments for ingrown toenails at home as well as other treatment options. If you are looking for a podiatrist in the New York City (NYC) area, Best Foot Doctor has office locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan that are currently accepting new patients.
What Is an Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails occur when toenails are rounded instead of cut straight across and grow under the skin. This causes inflammation and pain and can reduce your ability to walk. In addition, an untreated ingrown toenail can become infected and threaten your body’s health.
Treatments for Ingrown Toenails
If you are trying to treat ingrown toenails at home, here are six remedies that you can try. If you have any questions about treatments or what to do about ingrown toenails, your podiatrist will be able to answer any questions you may have.
- Warm water and Epsom salt: Soaking the affected foot in warm water with Epsom salts can effectively reduce inflammation. This treatment can be performed twice daily for best results.
- Stay dry: Keeping your feet dry when you are not soaking them will help prevent infections or further complications with your ingrown toenail.
- Separate the nail: If your ingrown toenail is not entirely under the skin, you should be able to lift it up and use a cotton ball to separate the nail from the skin. If you are using this method, make sure to change out the pad every day.
- Antibiotics: You can find antibiotic creams at the drugstore to help encourage healing in the ingrown toenail. After applying the antibiotic ointment, cover the area with a bandage.
- Change your shoes: Wearing too tight or small shoes can contribute to ingrown toenails. Instead, choose roomy, large enough shoes to help encourage healing.
- Pain relievers: If your ingrown toenails are causing pain that interferes with your daily routine, over-the-counter pain medication can help to relieve symptoms. They may also help reduce the inflammation in the affected area.
Other Treatment Options for Ingrown Toenails
If your situation is not improving after a few days or grows worse, contact your foot doctor to schedule an appointment. You should also visit a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail if you have diabetes or an autoimmune condition that could be affected. A podiatrist may use one or more of the following treatments to help fix the ingrown toenail.
- Toe guard or brace
- Oral antibiotic treatments
- Toenail removal
Surgery is not usually required for ingrown toenails. Still, in very rare cases where other treatments are ineffective, a foot doctor may recommend surgery that removes part of the nail completely. This treatment is not recommended for most people, but those with recurrent ingrown toenails may have to take this step.
Find an Ingrown Toenail Foot Doctor in New York City (NYC)
If you have tried at-home treatments for your ingrown toenail without success or are concerned about complications, please give our Best Foot Doctor offices a call. We are in your neighborhood with locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens and ready to help.