Podiatrist Questions Podiatrist

Starting of ingrown toenail?

Hi, I have the starting of an ingrown toenail and don’t know what to do? Are there any good creams or anything or is cotton wool under it best.

Male | 14 years old
Complaint duration: 1 Day
Medications: N/A
Conditions: N/A

11 Answers

If it's not infected you can try the wool, otherwise see a podiatrist.
I recommend you make an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon (podiatrist) for diagnosis and treatment options before you develop an infection
I would use either Epsom salt or domeboro soaks, and try packing cotton subungual/under the the nail, if no improvements contact a Podiatrist
Cut your toenail straight across with toenail clippers, keeping the nail long enough to get your fingernail under it; at least 1 to 2 millimeters at the white nail end. Use a pair of tweezers to gently push a tiny piece of cotton or gauze into the corner of your toenail where it’s ingrown. This helps to make a space between the nail and the skin. Cut the visible nail corner or the ingrown spur away to help relieve the pressure and pain. This may be easiest using precision toenail clippers, also sometimes called podiatrist grade clippers and toenail nippers.
Cleanse the area with disinfectant such as iodine. Call your podiatrist if your toe is red, warm, swollen, or drains pus, or if there are red streaks leading from your toe. You might need an antibiotic. If your toenail is very ingrown, your podiatrist might suggest minor surgery to remove all or part of the ingrown nail.

Try using some antibiotic ointment on it for a few days. Also, soak in warm water and Epsom salt for about 10 minutes twice per day. If you notice any redness, drainage, or increase in pain, you should see a podiatrist.


Angela Didyk, DPM
Neither work. See a Podiatrist for professional care.
Just don't wear tight shoes and cut your nails straight across
Soaking the toe in warm salt water & dressing with mupirocin ointment can definitely help calm down an ingrown in the early stages. Using cotton wool under the nail to help redirect the nail out of your border can also help. If it does proceed to get worse, I would definitely seek out a podiatrist in your area to evaluate & treat it.
Avoid tight shoes, foot soaking with epsom salts, and applying antibiotic ointment. If it gets worse, may have to see a podiatrist to have it removed.
An ingrowing toenail must be removed. The body sees this condition as a 'foreign body,' and you will develop an infection in the area if it is not taken care of.
I do not recommend placing any foreign material under the toenail to further damage the toenail skin interface or application of any topical preparation. I would advice you to seek professional care to manage this condition properly.

Best wishes

Dr Disabato