Home treatment for an ingrown toenail

Try home treatment if you have an ingrown toenail.

  • Soak your foot in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften the nail.
  • Wedge a small piece of wet cotton under the corner of the nail to cushion the nail and lift it slightly. This keeps it from cutting the skin.
  • Repeat daily until the nail has grown out and can be trimmed.

To prevent ingrown nails:

  • Cut toenails straight across and leave your nails a little longer at the corners so that the sharp ends don't cut into your skin.
  • Check with your health professional before trimming your own toenails if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or peripheral arterial disease.
  • Wear roomy, comfortable shoes.

Last Updated: November 13, 2008

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