Remedies for an Ingrown Toenail

I need some help! I have had an ingrown toenail for two years. It has been infected for almost the whole time. I would say it has swollen to about 2 cm in diameter. It hurts like the dickens when I run. I have taken it to a nail salon and it'll work for two months then will comeback. I need a monthly routine to help fix my toe. Please help! I am interested preferably in home remedies.

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By Mandy

November 15, 20100 found this helpful
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First, there is a HUGE difference between an ingrown toenail and an INFECTED ingrown toenail. The former is often inherited and usually only bothersome with the potential to become infected, while the latter is health or life threatening.

Second, you need to visit a doctor to verify the difference who can, if necessary, offer some type of antibiotic prescription to tackle an infection. I've read of many claiming that they can do home remedy infections, but if you've not been able to do so in over two years, you are WAY overdue in consulting a medical professional in person.

I'm a big fan of home remedies - and learned many from my father who was a Registered Pharmacist - but there are times when we need the help of modern science and medicine.

If you find out that it is not infected, a home remedy that helps to relieve the pressure of the nail and train it to grow more "normally" is really quite simple. It ain't pretty at first, but it has helped my genetically given, non infected, ingrown big toenails look and feel better with time.

Clip a tiny "V" shape in the middle of the toenail above "the quick" i.e.; don't cut into the skin. This allows the nail an opportunity to grow towards the center, rather than towards the edges, and helps relieve the pressure in the process.

Good luck, but please don't continue to let an infection go untreated.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful
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My husband recently had an ingrown toenail that kept coming back. (He got his from stubbing his big toe one night. He actually fractured it.) The podiatrist had to kill the nail bed in that area. A little painful but a quick, permanent fix. You really need to see one, for they will also give you a script for an antibiotic to clear up the infection. Infections can spread and become life threatening. (I lost the bone in the tip of my thumb due to an infection.) Once you've gotten rid of the ingrown, be sure to trim your nails straight across and don't cut them too short. Make sure your shoes aren't too tight in the toe area.

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January 1, 20110 found this helpful
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Painless remedy, it's true. Having just recovered from an ingrown toenail. I have some great information for anyone suffering from this painful problem. First, my toenail on my left foot (Big Toe) was the problem. The nail was growing into the toe because I did not properly cut the toenail. By the time I "dealt" with it, the pain was incredible and I could not walk or bump it in anyway without incredible pain. I read on the internet about someone who went to Walmart and purchased some medication that really helped them. I wasn't sure if it would work for me, but needed to try. At Walmart, I found Dr. Scholl's Ingrown Toenail Pain Reliever ($9).

I began treatment and within one and a half days. I was able to cut the nail at a slight angle and pull it out of my toe, painlessly! The first day, the pain was still there, but kept the treatment going (twice a day application). The medication has a numbing medication that not only numbs the area but softens the nail enough so that when you pull it out of your toe, no pain. It was amazing.

Having just been in incredible pain and then to have it gone so quick was great.

Special Note:

Make sure you soak the foot first in warm water and Betadine ($12) to help cleanse and disinfect the area. Dry thoroughly and then apply the medication according to the instructions on the box.

I also bought some diabetes medical socks that helped to relieve the pressure of normal socks during the first day ($6). Everything you can get is at Walmart. I am on my third day after treatment and my toe is a little sore, as it was infected, but the medication is still working it's magic on the area for pain, so the pain is so minimal. Try it.

Many, many thanks to the person who posted the Walmart medication idea that led me to this incredible remedy! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it!

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November 14, 20100 found this helpful

Mandy, have you visited your doctor about this? I know you say you're interested in home remedies, but you say that you've been fighting this for two years, and it has been infected for almost that entire time. It can't be good for your body to be fighting an infection for that long. Why not give your doctor a ring, and see if they can do something to help with the infection? I hope you find relief and feel better soon.

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Anonymous Flag
November 14, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with mrs.story that you should see a doctor for the infection. As for the ingrown toenail, pull a tiny piece of cotton from a cotton ball, then soak it in Campho-Phenique liquid. Use the tip of cuticle scissors to push it between the edge of the toenail and the skin. Change the cotton after your shower in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Do this daily until the toenail grows out past the nail pad. The first time you do it will be a little difficult, but after that it gets easier.

The cotton acts as a padding between the nail and the skin, and the Campho-Phenique is sort of a pain killer so it makes it feel better and also keeps it from getting infected.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Mandy: First I have to say, please don't let an infection go untreated, it can lead to so much more than just an ingrown toenail!

That being said, one home remedy you may want to try is to soak the offending toe in vinegar. Yup. Vinegar is often used to prevent and cure toenail fungus infections. A nail fungus can't survive in an acid environment. The acidity of vinegar relieves the itchiness and repairs the PH balance that is necessary to combat fungi. Though various types of vinegar will treat a nail fungus, simple white vinegar works very well.

White vinegar can be poured into a basin, and cover the affected toe completely. This should be done for at least thirty minutes. Make sure you dry your foot completely after soaking in vinegar. Some people apply a vinegar soaked bandage to the toe that can be worn all day. You can also make a foot soak of Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Vinegar has been very effective in many cases but it can take several months for the vinegar to completely cure a fungus infection (although it may feel like it is gone long before this). The key to treatment with vinegar is consistency. Good luck to you!

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

First, the stats of infections via nail/toe salons is huge and scary. Before you get to the amputate the toe stage--get to the doctor. A home remedy we keep for EVERYTHING is a bag of Epsom salts. Soaks toxins and poisons out. A soak a couple times a day to start with, then go to daily. Instructions on packages or google their website.

This is a product that has been used for decades--my great great grandmother kept it in the house. So we are talking the early 1900s. What went along with this growing up was a 'slab of carbolic' and a bandage. Early medical care was self reliant pretty much. With penicillin the basic antibiotic only, you did what you had to. There are books with poltices in. I have a nurse friend who uses them, grows the herbs specific for things like this.

You must make sure you don't have any kind of blood poisoning going on. And stay away from the salons with your feet. Their sterile environment is NOT THAT sterile.

Between your feet soaks, rinse the container with bleach water.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

Step one....see the doctor. He may give you some antibiotics and I am sure he will recoment a daily soak in epsom salts. this is the best soak there is for anything. It creats an envienment where bacteris cannot thrive. Please see the doctor.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

A nurse friend taught me this many years ago, and I've never had any more ingrown toenails. On all of your likely toes, meaning the big toe and the one next to it, file the top (not the end) down until the nail is hot pink, but not all the way through the nail. Once it starts to burn, you've gone too far. It should be in the center of the nail from side to side but closer to the end than the cuticle.

With every pedicure, check it out and make sure you're still filed off. The reason this works is that the nail thinks it is damaged, and the sides of the toenail grow up toward the center to heal the abrasion. Therefore, no more ingrown sides of your toe nail. Works like a charm for dozens of our friends and families.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

2 Years! You absolutely need to see a podiatrist. Probably needs a small surgery and antibiotics.

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

You didn't mention whether you have nail fungus - a thickening, yellowing or misshaped nail. I have inherited ingrown toenails, too. It certainly cut into my walking attempts. But I've done better since I went to the podiatrist. I had the nail trimmed on the sides, and he used medicine to kill off the sides so they wouldn't grow back again. The toe then got infected, so he told me to soak it every day for 15 minutes in warm water and Epsom salts. That really eased the soreness and sped up the healing.

Also, he gave me a medicine called FungalFree to use every day to kill the fungus. It's finally working, though it has taken all year to start growing out healthy-looking. Much better than the herbal, vinegar, etc. remedies I'd tried in the past. As others have said, treat the infection first with antibiotics, and I don't mean over-the-counter creams. Once you have dealt with the fungus (if it's there) and the nail deformity and the infection, you will be comfortable once again, with no chance of losing the toe. My granddaughter ignored a great toe infection and the doctor told her he didn't know whether he could save the toe, but ultimately she did keep it. You've waited long enough. Best wishes!

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

If your toes have an infection get to a good podiatrist ASAP for help with that. The Podiatrist can cut out the ingrown toenail, and once it heals use Vick's every day.

For toenail fungus many people are helped by using Vick's Vapor Rub as a salve on the toe nails twice a day. It takes about a year to get rid of it but it's safe and cheap. Stay away from Salons. Most are full of germs.

GG Vi

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

I was bothered with an ingrown big-toe ingrown nail. Two VA doctors failed to correct the problem. The third one did. Good luck.

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November 16, 20100 found this helpful

First you have got to see a doctor about the infection. When that's cleared up, you should cut your nails like this: cut a "v" shape into the center section of the nail. The edges then will grow towards the middle and not into the skin. I learned this from a doctor years ago and it always works.

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

The big toe on my right foot has the ingrown top nail. I just cut a V in the middle of the toe nail. As it come together it relives the pain.

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

Time to go see a podiatrist. This nothing to fool around with especially if you have had it for over 2 years. Home remedies are good for some things but there some situations you need to get the advice of a doctor. Especially if there is a chance you are diabetic. No time to take a chance. Get professional help in this case.

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