An ingrown toenail can be extremely painful. This condition occurs when the toenail grows into the skin, instead of over it. Fortunately, there are many different ways to treat an ingrown toenail at home with very little money. Unfortunately, not every method will work for every person. As such, you may need to try different methods to see which, if any, will work for you.
Wedge Cotton Under the Toenail
One of the easiest and most effective ways to treat an ingrown toenail at home inexpensively is to simply wedge a small piece of cotton under the edges of the toenail after soaking the foot in hot water. Soak the foot in warm to hot water for about ten minutes to soften the toenail. While the nail is still softened, wedge small pieces of dampened cotton under the nail as far as you can go without hurting yourself. This helps to force the nail to grow above the skin, rather than under it. It is recommended that you repeat this process three to four times a day until the ingrown nail is healed.
Soak Your Feet in Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive antiseptic that most people already have on hand. Mix one-half cup of hydrogen peroxide in a small tub of warm water and soak the affected foot for about 15 minutes one to two times per day. The hydrogen peroxide helps to kill germs and prevent infection, while also working to draw the ingrown toenail out. This is a great remedy for those who may have attempted to cut the toenail out and have now run the risk of infection with cut skin.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another product that many people already have in their pantries. If you do not, it is not expensive to purchase. Apple cider vinegar has many anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, which help to kill germs, bacteria, and fungus, all of which may cause ingrown toenails. Vinegar is also acidic, which may play a role in correcting the toenail. To use apple cider vinegar to treat your ingrown toenail, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, apply it to the affected toe and bandage it up. Allow it to sit for two to three hours before removing it. Repeat this process two to three times a day until the problem is solved.
If your ingrown toenail is causing you a great deal of pain, or if home remedies do not work for you, you will want to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. Some ingrown toenails can become so deeply embedded that they need surgical intervention to remove. A podiatrist can help you determine how to best treat your ingrown toenail and prevent the issue in the future.
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