An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner of one of your toenails digs into the flesh of that toe. It occurs more frequently in the big toe. An ingrown toenail is very painful and can easily cause inflammation as the nail further curls into the skin. You can begin a self-care at home to reduce the pain and treat the toenail.
Soaking. Soak your infected toe in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Massage the side of the toe while it is in the warm water. And then dry it with a clean tower. You can repeat this remedy for several times a day. Soaking will provide instant relief from the pain and can speed up the healing process.
Place cotton under you toenail. Place a small piece of cotton between the edge of the nail and the skin. This will reduce pressure that the sharp corner of the nail has imposed upon the skin. Change the cotton every day until the pain goes away. Replacing the cotton with dental floss works the same.
Apply ointment. If the skin is already broken by the nail, apply some ointment on the area to prevent infection.
Wear the right socks. If the nail has broken your skin, the wound is more likely to be infected by the dyes in the colored socks, which will cause other complications. So wear white socks only when you have an ingrown toenail.
Wear the right shoes. Do not wear high heels for it will cause more pressure on your toes while walking. You’d better wear open-toed shoes, for example, sandals until the pain subside.
Take painkillers. If you feel very painful, buy OTC pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen in the drug store. And take it according to the instructions.
Trim nails properly. When you trim your nails, make sure you cut them straight across. If you cut them too short, with the pressure put on your foot, toe nails are more likely to cut into the skin as it grows.