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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Tips for Fixing an Ingrown Toenail at Home

“Hi, this is Dr. Silvester and I’m going to show you how to pack an ingrown toenail with a little cotton. This is a little trick that gets the pressure off the nail. I just took some of this cotton off from a q-tip, as you see and you can just roll it up, and maybe that’s a little bit too thick so we’ll take a little off. And then you end up with a piece about like this and you just keep rolling it.

If you don’t use gloves, it's a little bit easier. So there you go. You’ve got this little noodle of cotton. Then you set it right down on the nail and leave it there. You’ll need something to push it underneath the nail - a toothpick works fine, if you have a little instrument like a dental instrument that works as well, but a toothpick works good.

And you just start pushing the cotton down in the side here. See that? Then it stays. It hurts a little bit, right? If you push the skin away, the that creates a little pocket for the nail to grow in. So there it is. Now, to get that to stay, what you then do is take a little drop of super glue and just put it on there and let it dry. So here we have a packed toenail and we’re just going to put a drop or two of super glue on this, and then that just stays there.

What that will do is dry, you’ll have to wait for a minute or two to dry, then it will stay for 4-5 days. When it falls out, the sooner you get another piece down in there the better, because when you get it down in there it will keep that pocket open, you’ll have room to put it in.  You just do that until the nail grows out from this point forward. Until the nail gets past the edge of the skin and then maybe that’ll solve your ingrown toenail problem without having to do surgery.”

Photos courtesy of EME via pixabay.com and shachargil via freeimages.com