Natural Cures for Ingrown Toenails
by Janette Sturges
Ingrown toenails, which occur when your nail grows into the soft flesh in the corners of your toes, can be problematic, causing redness, swelling and infection. They can be both painful and unsightly, and some people are much more prone to getting them than others. Luckily, treatments are simple and the best treatments for ingrown toenails are natural ones.
Treating the Ingrown Nail
The most common and easiest treatment for ingrown toenails you can do yourself is separating the toenail from the nail bed slightly with cotton. Begin by soaking your feet in warm water to soften the nail and the surrounding tissue, up to three times a day, for about 20 minutes. Then put a fresh piece of cotton under the nail where it is growing into the skin. This will let the nail grow above the skin. You may also want to apply a topical antibiotic to prevent infection in the nail bed, which can be incredibly painful. This treatment takes a little dedication and consistency, but stick with it and it's very effective in most cases.
Consult a Doctor
For more serious cases, a doctor may need to cut away part of the nail, or part of the nail and the surrounding tissue. You also need to consult a doctor if you have diabetes or circulation problems that can cause foot injuries to heal much more slowly. A doctor can also advise you on easy, natural prevention strategies, like proper footwear and how to properly trim nails.
Treat Concurrent Nail Issues
Often, nails that are infected with fungus can become brittle. This can cause injury to your nails more easily and cause more frequent ingrown toenails. If your nails show symptoms of fungal infection (thick, yellow and brittle), treat the fungus with a homemade remedy. File your nails down (carefully, to avoid more ingrown nail issues), then soak your nails in a vinegar-water solution for 15 minutes. Apply VapoRub to the affected nails and wait a couple of days. Fungus will turn black as it dies; as nails grow, the fungus will be forced out of the nail bed.