Ingrown toenails are when a toenail grows into the skin on the side of the toe. The main cause of this problem is cutting the toenails too short, but wearing tight shoes and being on your feet too much can also cause ingrown nails. It is essentially an open wound since the skin cannot heal until the toenail is removed from it. Because it is an open wound, it is extremely susceptible to infection which is why ingrown toenails should be taken care of immediately. There are clippers made specially for ingrown toenails, which make home removal simple.
Things You'll Need
- Warm water
- Rubbing alcohol
- Ingrown toenail clippers
Pour warm water in a container large enough to hold your feet. You need just enough water to cover the toe with the ingrown toenail.
Let your toe soak for 20 minutes. This will loosen the skin and soften the toenail, which makes it easier to effectively remove the nail.
Dip the nail clippers in rubbing alcohol to kill germs and bacteria. You do not want to risk exposing your toe to more germs.
Open the clippers and carefully glide the bottom clipper blade beneath the side of the ingrown toenail. The concave side of the clippers should face your toenail and the flat side of the clippers should face the edge of your toe.
Push the clippers down as far as you can to the base of the toenail and slowly pry it up until the ingrown nail comes out of your skin and is easily visible.
Clip off the ingrown portion of the nail. You will notice that it is much softer than the rest of the nail, so use this as a guide for how much needs to be clipped off.
Wrap your toe in a bandage after removing the ingrown toenail.
Tips & Warnings
- Make sure your hands are clean when removing an ingrown toenail.
- Cut your toenails straight across the top to prevent further ingrown nails.
- Call your doctor if soreness and infection persists three days after removing the ingrown toenail.