How to Keep an Ingrown Toenail From Becoming Infected

Have you done this? You spend half an hour every day soaking your feet and then stuffing cotton padding in between your broken up toenail and raw nail bed hoping to go another day and keep your ingrown nail at bay and also hoping it won’t get bad enough that they’ll have to eventually operate?

An ingrown toenail is one of the most frustrating health problems you could have. It is not immediately life threatening, but the annoyance and inconvenience factor is on a scale of 1 to 10, about an 8. Have you ever had to refuse a dance because it would mess up your toenail recovery efforts? Or how about if you like to run like I did? It seems like such a minor thing.

There are some things you can do to minimize the discomfort and stay active on your feet. I will go through those in a minute. I found these tips were helpful, not only for the above reason, but also for keeping my toes from becoming infected and making a trip to the doctor or operating table merely an option.

The first thing you can do is soak your feet everyday in sea saltwater. Saltwater is good for your wounded toes because it causes damaged cell fluid and “dirty” white blood cells to flow out of the wound. It has a cleansing effect. Epsom saltwater is probably used most widely. Sea salt has a component of this salt already in it.

The second thing you can do is try to separate the nail edge from the nail bed to minimize further nail bed damage. The nail of an ingrown toenail – especially by the time it has become a full-blown ingrown toenail – has deteriorated to the point of becoming rough – sharp even – to the flesh under it. Every step you make jostles the two together and causes more damage. That’s why it’s so important to try to keep the two separated.

You can use cotton or almost anything suitable that you can reasonably or comfortably fit in between the nail edge and the nail bed. I used cotton make-up removal pads and found they worked great. But you could even try using folded up paper first aid tape. I used that too, for a while.

Finally, you can wrap up the toe to keep the cotton in place for another day. But keep in mind that you will have to remove it at the end of the day and repeat the entire thing for the next day.

This is in effect another annoyance of having an ingrown toenail – having to take care of the cleaning and bandaging. But if you really don’t relish thought of having your toenails removed or cut, this could keep you going for a while longer while you considered what your next move should be…Or you could learn this simple secret to fixing your ingrown toenail and finding instant relief.