Here are five more ways to help relieve the pain of ingrown toenails from home.
- Take pain reliever medicine. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, can help relieve pain associated with ingrown toenails. Do not take more than the recommended daily dosage and do not under any circumstances consume the medicine along with alcohol. If you have swelling in the affected area, ibuprofen may be the better option as it helps relieve pain and reduces swelling. Take all medicine as directed by the instructions on the bottle or by your doctor.
- Create a cushioned barrier for the affected toe by wearing a toe protector. These rings go around the area and cover the entire toe. Some come with medicated gels to soften the nails so you can easily trim them. Use as directed until the ingrown toenail has been healed.
- Wear a toe brace to shield your skin from the sharp edges of the ingrown nail and to help lift the nail as it grows. These braces are thin and adhesive and are glued onto the top of the toe. They can be found online and in pharmacies.
- Consult with your doctor about oral antibiotics. While these aren’t usually prescribed for ingrown toenails and medical professionals aren’t certain that they help heal the nail, these will help if you have an infection or a weakened immune system. Signs of infection include redness, throbbing pain, swelling, the release of pus, warmth in the affected and surrounding areas, and a foul odor.
- Talk to your doctor about removing the nail. If you cannot get relief from treatment at home, you may need to have the nail partially or fully removed. In this situation, the doctor uses a local anesthetic and removes a portion of the nail’s border, the underlying nail bed, or a portion of the middle growth plate. If your case is severe and you experience an ingrown toenail that keeps coming back, the doctor may need to remove the entire toenail. This is often the last resort and can be rather painful. Your chances of infection increase with this option and it is likely your toenail will grow back in a misshapen form.