Fast Relief From Ingrown Toenail Pain At Home
You may not know how something so small can possibly hurt so much, but you do know that you need it to stop NOW. A permanent solution like those outlined in the Ingrown Toenail Treatment Guide will likely require time and/or a visit to your podiatrist; however, you don’t have to wait to get relief from the pain.
The Cotton Bevel Relieves Ingrown Toenail Pain
You may have lifted the corner of your ingrown nail with your fingernail and thought “if only I could keep that held up” or your nail may actually be embedded in the skin. Either way, using a cotton or gauze bevel under the nail will help relieve the pain while you correct the underlying cause. (If the only cause of the ingrown nail is improper trimming, this approach may be all the remedy you need.) If the nail has punctured the skin or is embedded in the skin, this procedure may take a few attempts to complete.
- Soak feet for 15-30 minutes in warm water with Epsom Salt. If you don’t have Epsom Salt on hand, don’t worry, just warm water will also work for what we are doing. Epsom Salt helps soften the nail and relieve the tenderness a bit more than water alone but waiting until you can go to the store is likely not desirable.
- If the skin is covering the corner/edge of the nail, use one hand to lightly pull the skin away from the nail. Slide a disinfected toenail lifter or pointed file under the free edge of the nail and move it toward the ingrown part of the nail. Use the lifter or file to gently lift the corner of the nail above the skin. Disinfecting the lifter/file prior to use is especially important if the nail has punctured the skin to avoid introducing bacteria.
- Rinse the area with peroxide, alcohol, or other disinfectant to prevent or treat infection.
- Use the toenail lifter/file to push cotton or gauze under the nail, packing as tightly as is tolerable, until the edge/corner of the nail is no longer in contact with the irritated skin. Gauze is preferred if you have it as cotton is more likely to leave remnants under the nail when removed.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the surrounding skin. Some antibiotic ointments contain Lidocaine, a topical analgesic (pain reliever) which will help ease any soreness in the surrounding skin.
- Finally, a toe sleeve can keep socks, shoes, or other toes from coming in contact with the sore nail. You can buy one at any drugstore or Wal-Mart or fashion one yourself by simply wrapping enough gauze loosely around the toe to slightly separate it from the adjacent toe.
If the nail is too hard or the area is too tender to complete Step 3, disinfect the area and repeat the soaking process every two hours until you can successfully lift the offending corner/edge of the nail. You can also apply a topical analgesic containing Lidocaine and/or use Ibuprofen to relieve some of the tenderness until you are able to successfully insert the cotton or gauze bevel.
Note: Repeat this process at least daily until the nail has grown out or other treatment is applied. Failure to thoroughly cleanse the area and change the cotton or gauze daily may lead to infection.