- If your ingrown toenail is not causing any severe problems, you can treat it yourself. According to the Family Doctor website, the most common remedy is soaking your foot in warm water for up to 20 minutes. Next, place a piece of a dry cotton ball under the corner of the nail. Repeat this as often as necessary to relieve your discomfort.
- If your ingrown toenail is extremely painful or starts to swell and drain, you may need to consult a doctor for a medical remedy. This involves minor surgery that can be performed in the doctor's office. According to the Family Doctor website, your toe will be numbed with an anesthetic injection. The doctor will then cut and remove the part of your toenail that has grown into your skin. Depending on the severity of the case, he may also perform ablation on the nail to prevent further ingrown nails there. This involves applying liquid or a minor electrical charge to the exposed nail bed.
After a surgical remedy you will need to soak your foot every day and apply antibiotic ointment to the treated area twice daily until it heals. According to ePodiatry, you should refrain from strenuous activities like running for two weeks after your surgery.
- Occasionally you may have complications after being treated for an ingrown toenail. Watch for signs such as swelling, pain and redness in the area. Drainage is also a warning sign. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
- The ePodiatry website says that once you've had an ingrown toenail, you have a greater risk of developing another one in the future. Fortunately, you can take some steps to prevent this. First, make sure that your shoes fit, because tight shoes can press the nail and encourage it to grow into the skin. Also, cut your nails straight across because peeling them at their edges, picking them or trimming them at the corners can increase the chance of developing an ingrown nail.