- Put a piece of cotton under the nail in order to separate the nail from the overlaying skin. This may allow the nail to grow above the edge of the skin.
- Carefully remove part of the nail and the skin that the nail was starting to grow into. It is best to try soaking in Epsom’s salt, maybe even three or four times a day for a few days to get the area clean and soft before clearing out the problem. There are a variety of tools to use for ingrown toenail treatment but a good ingrown toenail clippers and tweezers should work for everything you will need to do, just make sure the tools are all sterile before use and to wipe the toenail area down with an alcohol swab before and after your done.
- By numbing creams and ice, it is best to take care of it as soon as you can, as the problem and the pain will only get worse if not treated. Each toe is different but what you need to do is snip off the part of the nail that is growing against the skin, you may need to pull the piece or of nail and some dead skin out. Then wash the area thoroughly. Keep bandaged for a few days with triple antibiotic ointment. Change the bandage daily, more than just once if needed, to keep an eye on it and if it seems to be getting any worse you will need to see your doctor.
- Take small sharp scissors and cut a ‘V’ into the middle of your nail. It doesn’t have to be wide (maybe 1/8′ but it does have to be as deep as you comfortably can without injuring the nail bed. Over time, side pressure will be relieved and the nail will grow straight.
- Take a knife and back stroke a strip along the center of the nail to scrape the keratin off the nail and making it thinner. If you scrape it sufficiently, the nail will become thin and pliable and can bend and buckle to relieve the lateral stress of the ingrown toenail. You can use both the V and the scraping strip together to relieve the pain of the nail. In both cases, once the nail is freed from the ingrown site and growing again, it will completely regenerate in 2-3 months.
- Soak your foot and especially the affected toe, in warm water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. For higher effectiveness, you could also add one or two capfuls of a povidone-iodine solution to the water. Once the foot has been soaked and is well dried, you could insert the nail cutter under the edge of the ingrown nail, with a bit more ease. Cut the ingrown toenail, keeping the clipper at a slight angle. Make sure that you do not cut the skin, while clipping the nail.
- Roll a small piece of cotton into a thin sliver. Using the edge of a nail clipper, lift the corner of the ingrown toenail, so that there is some gap between the skin and the nail. Place the sliver of cotton between the nail and the skin and then release the toenail, so that the cotton stays tight between the nail and the skin. This will keep the toenail from growing into the skin. Change the piece of cotton at least once a day, to prevent any infections.
Wearing loose and comfortable sandals or going barefoot for as long as possible will reduce any pressure on the toes. This keeps the pressure off the toenails too and helps the process of healing ingrown toenails.
It is important to wash the foot frequently throughout the day, at least 4 or 5 times in the day, using mild soap and water. Soaking the foot in warm water with salt (or vinegar) few times a day would also be effective in healing ingrown toenails.