An ingrown toenail isn't just painful and unsightly; it can also lead to an infection if not treated properly. Once your ingrown toenail becomes infected, you will need to visit Charles Chapel, DPM at Chapel Podiatry in Brooksville. Thankfully, there are many at-home treatments you can try first.
1. Soak Your Foot in Warm Water
Soaking your foot in warm water will soften up the area to reduce pain and swelling and to help wash away any bacteria. Make sure you dry your foot well when you are done.
2. Gently Pull the Nail Out of the Skin
Using a pair of tweezers or your fingernail, gently pull the nail out of your skin if you can. If it is stuck, you may try soaking your foot longer to loosen it up. Do not pull too hard or you may bleed.
3. Separate the Nail from the Skin
Once your nail is out of your skin, keep the two separated by placing a small piece of cotton ball or gauze in between. Keep the two separated until your skin has had time to heal, but be sure to change out the cotton ball every day.
4. Use Over-the-Counter Pain Killers as Needed
If the process of reversing your ingrown toenail is very painful, an over-the-counter medication from your local Brooksville pharmacy can help ease your discomfort while your ingrown toenail heals.
5. Practice Preventative Care Now
Once your toenail and skin have separated and healed, you will want to prevent your feet from getting another ingrown toenail in the future. Do this by cutting your nails straight across and making sure they aren't too short. Wear proper fitting shoes and go barefoot at home when possible.
With a little vigilance and quick at-home care, a simple ingrown toenail should not warrant a trip to Chapel Podiatry in Brooksville. If your ingrown toenail is infected or keeps coming back, however, Dr. Chapel will want to see it. If you have any questions or concerns or need to make an appointment, call our office today.