Look at your feet. Do you have onychocryptosis (in-grown toenails)? Would you know if you did? In-grown toenails occur when the toe nail grows into the skin. This condition creates red, swollen skin that is very painful. It can also lead to serious infections. If you have an in-grown toenail it is important that you address the problem immediate to prevent deformation of your toe and toenail, to prevent infections, and to prevent other serious foot problems from developing.
1 Cleanse and Disinfect the Area
The first thing that you will want to do to treat your ingrown toenail is to clean it and disinfect it with rubbing alcohol or peroxide. You will also want to disinfect or sterilize your toenail clippers. This precautionary step will help you to prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
Next you will want to soak your foot in a solution of Betadine and warm water. You should allow your foot to soak for at least 10 minutes. This will disinfect your foot and it will soften both the nail and the skin around the nail. When youre done with this step pat your foot dry.
2 Clip the Ingrown Nail
Now you are ready to remove the nail. Place the edge of the clippers under the nails border. Angle the clipper and cut the ingrown nail away. Be careful not to clip your skin as this will heighten your risk for infections. Pull the ingrown nail out of the skin gently. If your toe is too sore for you to do this on your own then you will need to go to a podiatrist.
3 Disinfect the Area Again
Now that the nail is removed you will want to disinfect the area again, especially if you accidentally broke the skin. Use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to thoroughly saturate the toe. Next you will want to put together another Betadine solution. Soak your foot in this solution for 20 minutes.
4 Bandage the Toe
Slide a small piece of cotton under the toe nail to keep if from growing back into the skin. Then apply a thin coat of antibacterial cream or ointment to the toe. Finally wrap your toe in a bandage.
5 The Aftermath
You will need to continue treating your toe for several days after you remove the ingrown nail. First of all you will want to soak your foot in a Betadine solution 20 minutes a day for the first 3 to 5 days after you remove the nail. After your soak your foot, dry it and wrap it in a fresh bandage.