Q:

What are the treatment options for an ingrown toenail?

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Quick Answer

Home treatment options for ingrown toenails include soaking the toe and placing antibiotic cream on the affected area, but some ingrown toenails require a doctor's treatment, explains Mayo Clinic. Most ingrown toenails respond well to home treatment.

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Full Answer

To treat an ingrown toenail at home, soaking the feet in warm water can relieve the pain and swelling, states Mayo Clinic. Soaking the feet three or four times a day for about 15 to 20 minutes is a good schedule to follow. After the soaking, sliding dental floss or cotton underneath the edge that is growing inward can help the nail grow straight and away from the toe. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, serve to reduce the pain, and open-toed shoes may allow the toe to heal.

If home treatments do not correct the problem and the toe displays no redness or pus, a physician can lift the nail and place a splint, floss or cotton underneath to make the toenail grow straight, explains Mayo Clinic. For a toe with redness, pain or pus, the doctor may remove part of the nail. For a chronic ingrown toenail, a doctor may remove part of the nail and tissue underneath it, so the problem cannot reoccur. The doctor uses a laser or chemical method to accomplish this.

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