How Do You Fix an Ingrown Toenail?

It’s funny you mention ingrown toenails because just last week, I dealt with one myself. When you notice that painful swelling around your toenail, it’s natural to wonder about the best way to handle it at home. To start, you’ll want to soak your foot in warm water with Epsom salt to reduce the discomfort. But what comes next, and how do you know when it’s time to see a professional? Understanding the right steps can mean the difference between quick relief and a lingering problem. So, what’s the best approach to guarantee proper healing?

Identifying an Ingrown Toenail

Recognizing an ingrown toenail involves identifying symptoms such as pain, redness, and swelling around the nail’s edge. Early detection is vital for effective pain management and preventing complications.

Understanding nail anatomy helps you pinpoint where the nail has deviated, typically curving into the surrounding skin. This deviation can cause significant discomfort and, if untreated, escalate into an infection.

Several risk factors contribute to ingrown toenails. These include wearing tight-fitting shoes that press the toes together, improper toenail trimming where the edges are cut too short or rounded, and repetitive toe injuries. Additionally, conditions that cause excessive sweating of the feet or specific medical conditions like diabetes can increase susceptibility.

Adopting self-care techniques can mitigate these risks. Opt for open-toed or well-fitted shoes to reduce pressure on your toes. When trimming your toenails, make sure you cut them straight across and avoid rounding the edges. Regularly soak your feet in warm water to soften the skin and nails, making it easier to manage any discomfort. Gentle massage around the affected area can also help alleviate some pain.

Home Remedies

To alleviate the symptoms of an ingrown toenail at home, immerse the affected toe in warm water mixed with Epsom salt to reduce pain and swelling. This simple yet effective DIY treatment promotes drainage and eases discomfort. For best outcomes, soak your toe for 15-20 minutes, several times daily.

Post-soaking, gently massage the skin around the ingrown toenail. This natural remedy encourages the area to drain, minimizing pressure and pain. After each soak and massage, apply an over-the-counter antibacterial cream to prevent infection. Cover the toe with a breathable dressing to shield it from dirt and bacteria, ensuring a clean environment for healing.

Avoid attempting ‘bathroom surgery’ as a quick fix. Such home care methods can lead to further complications, exacerbating the issue. Instead, focus on these alternative solutions designed to manage symptoms safely.

Incorporating these evidence-based practices into your routine can provide relief while you monitor the condition. Remember, consistent and careful home care is crucial to addressing ingrown toenails effectively. If symptoms persist or worsen, it may indicate the need for professional intervention.

When to See a Podiatrist

If your careful home care efforts haven’t resolved the ingrown toenail, consulting a podiatrist becomes essential to prevent further complications. Persistent ingrown toenails, especially those that are infected or causing severe pain, require a podiatrist consultation. A professional evaluation allows the podiatrist to assess the extent of the issue and recommend appropriate treatment.

During the consultation, the podiatrist will examine your toe, inspecting for signs of infection and determining the severity of the ingrown toenail. This professional evaluation is vital in forming a precise diagnosis and developing effective treatment recommendations tailored to your specific condition.

In some cases, surgical options may be necessary. Procedures such as partial nail avulsion or chemical matrixectomy are common interventions that can provide long-term relief and prevent recurrence. These treatments are typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring efficient pain management during the procedure.

Prompt podiatrist consultation not only addresses the immediate discomfort but also safeguards against potential complications, such as bone infections and chronic pain. Taking proactive steps by seeking professional help guarantees your ingrown toenail is managed effectively, allowing you to maintain your freedom and mobility without ongoing pain.

Podiatry Treatments

When conservative measures fail, podiatry treatments like partial nail removal and chemical matrixectomy offer effective and long-term solutions for persistent ingrown toenails. These surgical choices are typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring a pain-free experience.

Partial nail removal involves eliminating a portion of the nail, while chemical matrixectomy utilizes a chemical agent to prevent regrowth of the problematic section.

Post procedure care is vital for ideal recovery and includes keeping the area clean, applying prescribed ointments, and avoiding tight footwear. You may experience some mild discomfort and swelling, but these symptoms usually resolve within a few days.

Potential risks, although minimal, can include infection, prolonged pain, or nail deformity. However, the treatment effectiveness of these procedures is high, providing lasting relief from the condition.

Follow-up appointments with your podiatrist are necessary to monitor healing and prevent recurrence.

Preventive Measures

Properly trimming toenails straight across is crucial in preventing the development of ingrown toenails. Using nail clippers that are sharp instruments guarantees a clean cut, reducing the risk of uneven edges that can lead to nail embedding into the skin. Regular trims maintain ideal nail length, preventing excess pressure and potential nail deformation.

Equally important is selecting appropriate footwear. Shoes that are too snug or poorly fitting can exert undue pressure on your toes, worsening the likelihood of ingrown toenails. Choose shoes that provide ample space for your toes to move freely, reducing pressure points and friction.

Maintaining excellent foot hygiene is another critical preventive measure. Clean, dry feet are less prone to infections that can complicate or trigger ingrown toenails. Regular washing and thorough drying, particularly between the toes, create an environment less favorable to bacterial and fungal growth.

In some instances, seeking advice from a podiatrist for challenging toenail trims can be advantageous. An expert can ensure that nails are trimmed correctly, further reducing the risk of ingrown toenails.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Fix an Ingrown Toenail Myself?

You can try home remedies and DIY solutions for temporary relief, like soaking in warm salt water. However, common causes require prevention tips. For persistent cases, professional treatment’s best to avoid complications and guarantee proper healing.

Can Ingrown Toenail Go Away on Its Own?

Imagine walking pain-free again. Ingrown toenails rarely resolve themselves. Home remedies like warm salt soaks help, but medical intervention is often necessary. Ignoring it can lead to infection. Follow prevention tips to aid the healing process.

What Draws an Ingrown Toenail Out?

You can draw out an ingrown toenail by using home remedies like soaking techniques in warm, salt water. Medical intervention may be necessary for severe cases. Guarantee proper footwear and adopt preventive measures to avoid recurrence.

Can You Naturally Fix an Ingrown Toenail?

You can naturally fix an ingrown toenail using home treatments like warm salt water soaks, applying essential oils, and using herbal remedies. Prevention tips include proper nail trimming. Always guarantee cleanliness to avoid complications.


To sum up, addressing an ingrown toenail requires a blend of diligent home care and professional intervention. Think of your foot as a garden; nurture it with warm soaks and antibacterial creams.

Yet, if the condition worsens, don’t delay—consult a podiatrist. They can perform precise treatments like partial nail avulsion or chemical matrixectomy.

Remember, proper care today prevents painful steps tomorrow. Prioritize evidence-based practices to secure effective and safe recovery.

Don’t put up with toenail pain any longer – the ingrown pain will likely worsen the longer you try to ignore it.  Call us today on (03) 4240 5231 or schedule an appointment online today to see one of our podiatrists and let us get you back on your feet pain free with healthy nails.