Ingrown Toenail Troubles


An ingrown toenail happens when the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin, typically in your big toe. This painful experience can afflict anyone at any age. Ingrown toenails are typically caused by a stubbed toe, wearing too-tight shoes, or cutting your toenails too short or at an angle.

Often, ingrown toenails can case a nasty infection, so it’s important to treat them as soon as they occur. If the toenail becomes too ingrown, it may even require surgery. If you have an ingrown toenail, try these home remedies to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Soak in warm water. A warm soak can help the swelling go down and can ease the pain. Epsom salt mixed in the water can also help with relief.
  • Switch to more comfortable shoes and socks. Tight shoes and socks can squeeze your toes together, compressing them and increasing the chances of ingrown toenails. Make sure your shoes and socks leave a little wiggle room. Wear sandals or even go barefoot if you can. 
  • Try a toe protector. Toe protectors cushion and separate your toes. These over-the-counter orthotic devices come as rings that fit around one specific area, or as shields for an entire toe. 
  • Use an antibiotic ointment. Over-the-counter antibiotic creams can help reduce the risk of infection and help the area heal more quickly. Follow the instructions on the box and bandage the area after applying medicine.
  • Soak the toe in apple cider vinegar. People have deeply believed in the healing properties of apple cider vinegar for a long time. It’s believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving abilities (though there’s not a lot of scientific evidence to back it up). Try a 20-minute daily soak of warm water mixed with ¼ cup apple cider vinegar. Rinse and dry your foot very well after the soak.
  • See your foot doctor. Ingrown toenails may seem like an everyday issue that will get better over time, but serious complications can arise if they are left untreated. If you have diabetes or any other condition that causes poor circulation, consult a podiatrist immediately about an ingrown toenail. You should also consult a doctor if the pain is very severe and the swelling continues.

At Bay City Podiatry Associates, Dr. Argiros Mantzoukas treats a variety of foot conditions. Our offices in Bensonhurst, South Brooklyn, and Bath Beach are equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated, friendly staff. For any questions about foot care, or to schedule an appointment, call us today.