Ditch Bathroom Surgery—What to Do at Home for Ingrown Toenails
Do-it-yourself projects don’t always turn out the way they seem to in the pictures by experts online. Cute cupcakes and furniture decorations are often harder to make than they seem. Still, generally the worst that can happen with those projects is a wasted afternoon and a mess to clean up. When you try DIY “bathroom surgery” on an ingrown toenail, however, the consequences could be much worse than a mess.
Trying to cut out an ingrown toenail yourself can risk injuring your toe, opening your foot to infections, and worsening the pain. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do for ingrown nails at home, of course. There are plenty of home treatments that are much safer.
Ingrown toenails develop when an edge of a nail curls and curves as it grows, so it pinches or pierces your skin instead of sitting above it. Once a nail has grown into the skin quite a bit, the only effective way to relieve your pain is to cut out the offending edge. This is definitely something you shouldn’t try at home in your bathroom. You’re more likely to seriously damage your skin and nail without properly removing the ingrown edge than you are to actually help yourself.
You don’t have to wait for a toenail to reach that point to try to take care of it, of course. You can take care of a mildly ingrown nail on your own at home, without the bathroom surgery. Some basic conservative methods can be very helpful for keeping the edge of your nail above your skin and growing straight:
- Soak it – A foot bath in Epsom salts can help alleviate soreness, swelling, and pain in your toe.
- Splint it – After your foot soak, gently wedge cotton or dental floss under the nail edge to lift the corner above your skin. This will have to be changed every day.
- Change your shoes – Wear footwear that doesn’t squeeze or press against your toes.
If home treatments aren’t helping, then it is time to move on to a procedure to remove the ingrown edge—done by professionals, of course. Our team at Family Foot & Ankle Center of Jasper will remove the nail carefully and treat it to prevent infections. If you’re struggling with an ingrown nail today, don’t ignore it or do something to make it worse. Contact our Jasper, IN, office online or by calling (812) 481-7200 for more information or an appointment.