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Here's How to Treat Ingrown Nails With Epsom Salts

A red, sore toenail is a telltale sign of an ingrown toenail. Pressure can make the pain worse, and it may bleed. Skin may grow over the toenail, a pus-filled blister can form, and the skin around the nail may become hard and tender. Walking and running is uncomfortable. Sometimes, you may find just wearing closed-toed shoes hurts when your toenail is ingrown.

If you believe you have an ingrown toenail that’s infected, follow up with the experts at Hoosier Foot and Ankle at one of the multiple locations in Carmel, Indianapolis, Franklin, Greenwood, and Fishers Indiana. In the meantime, care for your ingrown toenail at home with an Epsom salt soak.

Causes of an ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail may happen because of unlucky genetics – your nails tend to curve as they grow – but is often because of grooming or footwear habits. Some of the most likely causes include:

Talk to us about how to prevent further infections as you heal from the one you have now. Even if you come in for treatment, we can’t guarantee you won’t get future ingrown toenails, but we can help reduce the likelihood you will. 

Soaking your toe

A warm foot bath containing Epsom salts soothes and heals an ingrown toenail. Create your bath in a small shallow container with a ratio of one to two tablespoons of Epsom salts to every quart of warm water. Soak for about 15 minutes at a time. The Epsom salt soak eases discomfort and draws pus out from the area around the toenail. It can also loosen the skin, so it can be pulled away from your ingrown toenail.

When your ingrown toenail is most acute, soak several times per day. Make sure you dry your foot completely after each soak. Apply antibiotic cream or ointment to the area to ease the infection.

Seek podiatric care

If your ingrown toenail is severely infected or isn’t resolving with regular soaks, it’s time to make an appointment at Hoosier Foot and Ankle. We can treat a painful ingrown toenail under a local anesthetic.  

If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, definitely come in for a check-up even if your ingrown toenail seems mild. Foot problems can escalate quickly if you have diabetes.

If you have frequent ingrown nails, we may suggest you undergo the phenol and alcohol matrixectomy. During this procedure, we numb the region and remove the problem area of the nail. Phenol, a chemical, is applied to destroy the cells that form the nail. Your nail can no longer grow and cause problems.

Never ignore an ingrown nail and hope it just will go away on its own. An infection can ensue, spread, and lead to complications. If an Epsom salts soak isn’t enough to resolve your issue, call Hoosier Foot and Ankle, or book an appointment online to have your toenail professionally treated. 

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