Ingrown toenails are fairly common.
They happen when your toenail grows in the wrong direction.
Instead of growing over the toe, they grow into the skin on the side of your toe.
The first symptoms are tenderness that becomes more uncomfortable as the toenail continues to grow deeper into the flesh.
It's best to treat the condition before it becomes infected. You can treat the problem at home if you catch it early before infection sets in.
Here are 10 natural remedies for ingrown toenails.
1. Soak your feet in warm water
Warm water helps to relieve tenderness when a toenail is beginning to grow inward.
It also softens the nail and reduces swelling in the affected area.
Soak your feet for between 15 to 20 minutes each session.
You can do this three to four times a day.
2. Treat with antibiotic cream
If an ingrown toenail ruptures the underlying skin and creates an open wound, it can lead to a bacterial infection.
After you soak your feet in warm water, dry the affected area by patting it with a clean, dry towel.
Use cotton or a cotton swab to apply a layer of antibiotic cream or ointment to the area.
This can help prevent infection from setting in.
Bandage the toe to keep the cream in place and to prevent the introduction of germs.
3. Slip Dental floss under your ingrown toenail
Waxed and unflavored dental floss is a common natural remedy for an ingrown toenail.
- Slip the dental floss under the edge of the ingrown toenail. It helps by encouraging the nail to grow above the skin instead of inwardly.
- It's best to try this natural remedy after you've soaked your feet and your toenails are soft and more flexible.
- You may also use cotton instead of dental floss.
- It's important to make sure that the dental floss or cotton is sterile.
Wash your hands before handling the material to avoid introducing bacteria into your sore toe.
4. Choose your footwear wisely
Pressure against the toenail that is ingrown can make the condition worse.
It's essential to avoid pressure on the area by choosing shoes that fit loosely around the toes.
Tight shoes will make the pain worse.
Select shoes and stockings that are not restrictive to keep the pressure off your ingrown toenail.
It's best to wear sandals that have open toes.
Avoid narrow shoes that may pinch your toes together and cause friction against the affected toe.
5. Soak your feet in Castile
If the warm water soak doesn't help enough, there are a variety of different soaks that may work better.
- Soak your foot in warm water that contains a small squeeze of Castile soap.
- The Castile cleanses the area and lessens the chance of infection setting in.
- This natural remedy has been known to bring a lot of relief.
You can use this soak up to 3 times daily. Make sure to dry the foot entirely after soaking.
6. Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is a natural disinfectant that most of us have in our medicine chests.
It can help to clean any wounds around the ingrown toenail and prevent a bacterial infection.
- To use Hydrogen Peroxide as a natural treatment for ingrown toenails, combine hydrogen peroxide with warm water.
- The ratio is approximately 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for every half cup of water.
- The water should be as warm as you can possible withstand.
- You can soak your ingrown toenail in this solution 2 to 3 times a day for 15 to 20-minute sessions.
If the infection is beginning to set in, this solution can help to soak it out of the affected toe.
7. Soak your feet in Epsom Salt
Epsom Salt is a commonly used natural treatment for pain and soreness.
Magnesium is found in high amounts in Epsom Salts.
This is the compound that fights inflammation and reduces swelling and pain.
Prepare a basin of warm water and add between 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt for every quart of water.
Soak your foot for 15 to 20-minutes between 2 to 3 times a day.
While soaking, massage the area around the ingrown toenail downward.
8. Use a toe protector
A toe protector can help to shield the affected area from bumps and pressure.
A toe protector is important if you must wear shoes all day long.
Toe protectors are made with elastic material with stretch-to-fit caps to protect and comfort the area around the ingrown toenail.
I know Toe protectors are not natural remedies for ingrown toenails, but they will do the trick and work well.
9. Trim and file the affected toenail
Shaping the ingrown toenail can help to encourage it to grow over the nail instead of into it.
If the nail is not yet infected, gently pull it out from the skin. Trim the nail and file it.
This can prevent the nail from growing further into the flesh of the side of your toe.
10. Treat your ingrown toenail with garlic
Garlic is rich in allicin. This is a compound that has antimicrobial agents.
It helps to prevent infection and promotes healing.
Garlic is also an anti-inflammatory remedy that relieves swelling and pain naturally.
- Crush 3 cloves of garlic and apply the mashed paste to the ingrown toenail.
- Cover the toe and the garlic with sanitary gauze to hold the preparation in place.
- Leave it on overnight.
The best time to use this natural remedy is before you retire for sleep for the night. It will work as you sleep to relieve pain and swelling.
It also helps to ward off infection.
These are 10 natural remedies that you can use at home to great an ingrown toenail.
While these are not instant cures, they can help to speed the recovery process.
If the condition continues to worsen or become infected, you should consult with a medical professional.
Health care professionals should examine infected ingrown toenails that do not respond to natural treatments to avoid serious complications.
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