How to treat an ingrown nail at home


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A slightly ingrown nail can be treated at home, by trying to lift the corner of the nail and inserting a piece of cotton or gauze, so that the nail stops growing to the inside of the finger or toe and ends up denoting naturally.

However, when the area around the nail becomes very red, swollen and with pus, it may be a sign that there is already an infection in the site Therefore, it is very important that it be evaluated by a health professional, such as a nurse or podiatrist, who may prescribe the application of an antibiotic ointment to relieve symptoms.

How to unscrew the nail at home

To treat the nail that is slightly ingrown and inflamed, you should follow this step-by-step procedure:

  1. Leave the foot or hand of the nail soaked in warm or hot water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Try to lift the corner of the nail that is jammed with tweezers and put a piece of cotton or gauze between the nail and the skin to keep it elevated, changing daily.
  3. Pass some antiseptic solution like iodopovidon to prevent the region from any infection.

If the nail is too ingrown, inflamed or with pus and it is not possible to walk normally, do not try to loosen the nail from the skin but you should seek a nurse, a podiatrist or a dermatologist to unjam the nail. Thus, the procedure can be done correctly and without the risk of aggravation as input of bacteria.

What not to do

In case of ingrown nail, one should not cut the part of the ingrown nail but cut the nail into “v”, or put a tight bandage. These measures only worsen the ingrown nail and increase the risk of the nail jamming again.

How to treat the ingrown with pus

The nail that is ingrown with pus should always be evaluated by a professional, because it may be necessary to use antibiotic ointments to fight infection and allow healing to take place.

When to go to the doctor

It is advised to go to the doctor when there are any of the following situations:

  • Having diabetes
  • The nail is very ingrown, inflamed or with pus
  • The finger is too swollen or if circulation doesn’t seem to be happening.

It is also important to seek professional help if there are lesions in the affected region or signs of poor blood circulation.

When surgery is needed

Surgery for ingrown nails is required in cases where it is frequent for nails to jam and treatment with nail elevation or cutting does not work, especially if there is spongy meat at the site. In this case surgery is done with local anesthesia and, in most cases, it is not necessary to remove the entire nail. Depending on the nail to be treated, the doctor may choose to apply an acid, such as silver nitrate, which destroys part of the nail that was ingrown.

How to prevent nails from jamming

To prevent ingrown nails, nails should be cut straight, but avoid leaving the nail too short. In addition, it is also important to wear tight shoes and change socks daily, as this prevents the proliferation of microorganisms.


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