When a toenail starts to grow into the skin around it, most people look for quick relief. But before you reach for an ingrown toenail clipper, it's important to understand the following do’s and don’ts to manage the issue in the safest and most effective way possible.
Do: Soak it
Soak the nail in a warm water solution with soap and Epsom salts to soften the skin. When the skin is soft, gently rub the ingrown nail out of it. Consider applying antiseptic ointment and wrapping with a bandage.
Don’t try to pick it out!
Resist the urge to surgically remove the ingrown nail on your own, especially if you’re not a medical professional! Avoid using sharp instruments or folk remedies that are not proven and can worsen the situation and lead to an infection.
Do: See a professional
A podiatrist is a medical professional who can safely treat ingrown toenails and prevent infections. Try to see one as soon as you notice the problem, as waiting too long will worsen the pain and make you prone to infection.
Don’t wear tight footwear and socks.
Avoid pointy shoes or high heels that put pressure on the toes. These could increase your risk of an ingrown toenail and can be painful when you already have one.
Do: Carefully trim nails to avoid ingrown toenails
Learn to trim nails properly and carefully. Cut straight across without rounded edges, and avoid filing into a round shape. Additionally, avoid pulling or tearing loose pieces of nails off. Having a high-quality ingrown toenail clipper also helps with persistent ingrown nails.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help
Having an ingrown toenail is nothing to be embarrassed about, so see a professional for effective removal and treatment.
Do: Use the right tools
Choose high-quality professional nail clippers. Consider investing in specialised tools, including an ingrown nail file and an ingrown toenail clipper.
Don’t cut it too short
There’s always the urge to cut an ingrown nail, but if it ends up too short, the problem could get worse. Let the nail grow long enough for trimming.
Do: Keep it clean
Keep the skin around the nail healthy and clean to prevent infections. Properly moisturised skin can also help prevent ingrown nails.
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