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Stop an Ingrown Toenail In Its Tracks

Ingrown toenails happen when your large toenail starts to grow sideways into the skin, which leads to a painful, inflamed patch of skin that should be taken care of surgically. You probably shouldn’t try to treat or cut an ingrown toenail at home, but if you notice that your toenail is growing abnormally, you can try to stop the problem before it gets any worse.

Stop an Ingrown Toenail In Its Tracks

Step 1: Wear comfortable shoes that fit you properly. Wearing shoes that are too tight or crowd the toes can lead to your toenail growing irregularly. If you must wear heels, consider keeping a pair of comfortable shoes with you for walking around and changing when you arrive to your destination.

Step 2: Trim your nails straight across. But cutting your toenails with a curve you could be putting yourself at risk for ingrown toenails – the edges of the toenail may grow into the skin (ouch!). Try cutting straight across and then using a nail file to give your toenails a slight curve by sanding down the corners.

Step 3: Cut your toenails to a moderate length, and try not to cut them too often or too short. Shorter nails are more susceptible to becoming ingrown toenails because they have more room to grow into the side of the skin. You should never cut your nails lower than the top of your toe.

Step 4: Soak your toe in Epsom salts and water if your see that your toenail is growing abnormally. Then, wet a piece of cotton and slide it between your toenail and the skin underneath to separate the nail from the skin and fix its growing pattern. You can also do this treatment with a small piece of floss or gauze to lift the growing nail away from the skin.

Step 5: Make an appointment with your podiatrist if you notice that the toenail is growing into the skin and is painful to the touch. Don’t try to remove the toenail yourself – this could lead to infection and injury. Only your doctor can decide if the toenail will need to be removed.

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