Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Ingrown Toenail

What is the best way to treat ingrown toenails?

I have an ingrown toenail on my big toe, and it's causing me a lot of discomfort. Are there ways to treat ingrown toenails at home? If so, what's the best way?

21 Answers

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Most home remedies are not very successful to treat ingrown nails unfortunately. I would recommend seeing a podiatrist we treat these all the time. If you want to try a home remedy sometimes epsom salt soaks can soften the nail and you can try to remove it but it is not safe and a professional would be the best option for this.
This will progress if left untreated. Most patients fail the standard home remedies and get severe infections before they come to me. Patients usually soak their foot as a home remedy, which is okay, but usually more than this is needed.
The best way to treat ingrown toenails is to have them partially removed via a minor surgical procedure, done in office under local anesthesia. The procedure can be non-permanent or permanent, depending on the level of chronicity of the ingrown toenails
Unfortunately, most ingrown nails cannot be treated effectively at home without the risk of infection. Best to go to a podiatrist for treatment options.

Kathleen Neuhoff, DPM 

You can try the following steps at home to relieve the pain caused by your ingrown toenail and help it grow out. If you have diabetes or poor circulation do not attempt home treatment. Use these home treatment steps for 3-5 days then see a doctor if still painful.

1, Soak your sore toe in warm water mixed in epson salt for 15 minutes 2 to 3 times each day.
2, Wedge cotton ball, under the ingrown corner of your nail to help lift the nail off of the skin as it grows out.
3, Apply topical antibiotic, such as polysporin, to the affected area and wear a loose fiting, clean sock.

Avoid digging into the toe. Ingrown toenails easily become infected.
Wear soft, loose, comfortable shoes or sandals to avoid pressure on your toe.
The best way to treat one at home is to pick up your home phone and make an appointment with your friendly neighborhood podiatrist. What we call “bathroom surgery” for ingrown nails
frequently leads to worse infections and need for extensive work.
Sometimes you can trim the corner of the toenail out to give temporary relief. Recommend see podiatrist and have a procedure that can remove the sliver of ingrowing toenail on a more permanent basis.

Jonathan M. Kletz, DPM
See a qualified podiatrist.
At home, you can try to trim the nail soak toe with Epsom salts and use topical antibiotic like Betadine. If that’s unsuccessful, seek the help of a health care provider; your local podiatrist is your foot and ankle specialist.
The best way to treat ingrown nails is to remove the ingrown nail so it doesn’t come back. A Podiatrist will let you know the best treatment for you
Besides soaking in warm salty water, getting to your podiatrist is the best treatment. Anything you do at home other than soaking will only makes things worse and more painful for you. 
Home treatments for ingrown nails include epsom salt soaks in warm soapy water and something called bathroom surgery where people attempt to cut the affected nail fold back as far as they can without the use of local anesthesia. I do not recommend this. If your ingrown is causing you pain that means it is close to becoming a full blown paronychia or infected ingrown nail with abscess. Without treatment the infection will spread to the bone resulting in osteomyelitis which sometimes requires amputation of the affected toe. I recommend you see a professional. Thank you for your question and good luck.
Removing the affected nail, not the entire nail. If it is a recurrent ingrowing nail you are better off having it removed because it will generally never fully go away
I recommend excision of the ingrown portion by a podiatrist if this is a recurrent problem. If it is a new problem, Epsom salt soaks help.
If soaking in warm salt water does not stop the pain, you should see your doc. Trying to dig around an ingrown nail at home will only cause a worsening infection and more pain
Best to see a podiatrist. If it hurts, it's likely infected.
It is unwise to try to treat your ingrown toenail at home. By the time they are very uncomfortable, they are often infected and need to be treated with oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection, and the offending nail border must be removed aggressively, or the infection will recur as soon as the course of antibiotics is finished. Soaking in Epsom salts or Dial antibacterial hand soap in warm water, then keeping the area covered with a band aid and topical antibiotic ointment is the best way to handle the problem until you can see a Podiatrist. There will be 2 choices of treatment at the Podiatrist's office: A removal of the offending border, or a more permanent removal of the side of the nail that is bothering you by doing a procedure called a Matricectomy in the office. This yields a good cosmetic result, and usually stops the edge that is bothering you from growing back.
Ingrown toenails can have different causes, including genetic and improper nail cutting. I recommend you cut the nail not too short, leave at the tip of the toe. Do not dig in the corners. I recommend you be evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon (podiatrist) to discuss other treatment options