Health Tip: Treating an Ingrown Toenail

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(HealthDay News) -- An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows into the skin. It can be quite painful and become infected, so it's important to take prompt care of an ingrown toenail as soon as it's recognized.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions:

  • Soak the foot in warm water three or four times each day.
  • When not soaking, make sure the foot is clean and dry.
  • Wear open-toed sandals or similar while the condition heals. Otherwise, opt for comfortable shoes that don't squeeze the toes.
  • Carefully wedge a small piece of clean cotton or waxed dental floss between the skin and the toenail. Be sure to change this packing daily.
  • Use an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • You should start to see improvement within two or three days. If you don't, contact your doctor.

-- Diana Kohnle
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