ZocdocAnswersWhat is the best way to alleviate ingrown toenails?

Question

What is the best way to alleviate ingrown toenails?

I am a 32 year old man who is constantly do battle with ingrown toenails. They are so painful and sometimes bleed. I’ve been told that I cut my nails wrong but do not think this is the issue. What is the best way to deal with them? I’ve tried soaking my feet in Epsom salt, trimming my nails straight across, nothing seems to help. Should I go and have my nails removed and start over? Your advice is appreciated.

Answer

Ingrown toenails can be a chronic problem. It is true that some of the things you are doing are things that should help, for example trimming your nails straight across is a technique that is supposed to prevent the nails from curving down into the skin. Additionally, soaking the feet in Epsom salts is something that could help if you are starting to have some inflammation or infection at the site of the ingrown nails. Make sure that you are wearing well fitting shoes, as tight shoes is the other preventable thing you can do that you did not mention. Unfortunately, however, if these techniques are not working for you, then you may need to see doctor. If you have some infected areas at the sites of the ingrown toenails, your primary care doctor can help you deal with this. However, in terms of dealing with the more long term issue, you should see a podiatrist. There are several things a podiatrist may do to help fix the ingrown nails, such as elevating the toe nails with splints at the site of the ingrown nail or cutting them in special ways down the middle to try to correct they way they are growing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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