How Do You Treat an Ingrown Nail at Home?


Quick Answer

To treat an ingrown nail at home, soak it in warm water, place dental floss under the nail, apply a topical antibiotic, and take over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate discomfort, as instructed by Mayo Clinic. If the ingrown nail is on the toe, choose open-toed footwear until it heals.

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Full Answer

Soak the affected area in warm water three to four times each day for 15 to 20 minutes to relieve tenderness and swelling, as affirmed by Mayo Clinic. Place an antibiotic ointment on the affected area before bandaging it. Relieve discomfort with pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium or acetaminophen. To help the nail begin growing over the skin, place some cotton or waxed dental floss just under the edge of the nail.

If home remedies are unsuccessful, the doctor may recommend surgical treatment methods, according to Mayo Clinic. Severely ingrown nails with pain, redness and pus may require partial removal of the nail. The doctor may numb the area with an anesthetic before trimming or cutting the portion of the nail under the skin. If the condition is recurrent, the doctor may wish to remove part of the nail along with a portion of the nail bed tissue using one of several surgical methods.

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