How Epsom Salt Can Improve Your Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is that painful condition when your toenail grows into the flesh of your toe. 

You may have a genetic predisposition to getting ingrown toenails, or it could be because of poorly fitting footwear, trauma from stubbing or jamming your toe, repetitive activity like dancing or jogging, or improper trimming of the nails -- by you or during a pedicure. People who have circulation problems are vulnerable to ingrown nails.

Regardless of why you have one, you want relief. The podiatrists at Hoosier Foot & Ankle are ready to help if you have recurrent ingrown toenails or signs of infection, but often you can treat an ingrown toenail at home successfully with foot soaks. Adding Epsom salt to that bath is especially helpful in promoting healing. Here’s why. 

Epsom salt reduces inflammation

Epsom salts contain magnesium, which can help the body get rid of toxins responsible for inflammation. This eases pain and swelling around an ingrown toenail.

When you add Epsom salt to a foot bath, your ingrown nail heals faster. As a bonus, it can also treat athlete’s foot and reduce foot odor!

How to soak in Epsom salts

Fill a basin or bathtub with warm water so that it’s deep enough to cover your feet. Add about half a cup of Epsom salt, and stir to dissolve. Soak your feet for up to a half hour at a time.

Apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected ingrown nail, and cover with a clean sock or bandage. 

Removing the ingrown nail

After soaking, the skin around the ingrown nail should be very soft. Swelling and inflammation will also minimize. You can use clean, nail-cutting tools to clip the affected area. But, if you aren’t sure you’re doing it right or if your toenail seems infected, leave this step to the professionals at Hoosier Foot & Ankle

Signs of infection

Infection can happen when the ingrown toenail causes a break in the skin. Bacteria enters and inflames the area. The area will be painful, swollen, red, and potentially warm to the touch. You should make an appointment at Hoosier Foot & Ankle if you suspect an infection. We can help treat the ingrown nail and prescribe your antibiotics to deal with the infection. Without treatment, the infection could potentially spread.

An infection can cause dire complications in people with impaired immunity, diabetes, or poor blood flow. If any of these apply to you, get all ingrown toenails checked out at our office just in case. 

Recurring ingrown toenails

All the Epsom salt foot soaks in the world won’t help if you have recurrent ingrown toenails. In these cases, we may recommend a procedure in which the problematic nail portion is removed. 

We numb your toe and apply a chemical called phenol to kill off the cells that form the nail. 

The procedure is done right in the office and is a permanent way to deal with recurring ingrown toenails.

Trust the providers at Hoosier Foot & Ankle for all your podiatric needs. With offices in Carmel, Indianapolis, Franklin, Greenwood, and Indiana University (IU) Health Saxony Hospital in Fishers, Indiana, the practice can meet most Indiana patients’ needs. Call today, or use the online tool to schedule.

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Help! I Have an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail can be seriously painful, and the associated redness and swelling may cause alarm. Minor ingrown toenails can be resolved with at-home foot soaks, but if you’re tempted to do bathroom surgery, seek professional care.