Simple measures include wearing appropriate open toe or wide toe footwear.
Proper nail trimming; this includes avoiding curved trimming of the lateral edges of the nail plate.
General measures should also include management of the underlying factors (hyperhidrosis, onychomycosis).
Patients can soak the affected big toe and foot for 10 to 20 minutes in warm soapy water or salt water, followed by applying a topical antibiotic ointment several times a day for 2 to 14 days may provide relief. Applying topical steroids to hypertrophic granulation tissue can reduce inflammation on the affected area.
Home Treatment for Ingrown Toenails:
1. Soak the feet for 15-20 min in lukewarm water containing any of the following:
One part of white vinegar to four parts of water
Two tbsp of Epsom salt in one quart of water
2. Clean feet, keep nails trimmed.
3. Take anti-inflammatory drugs (oral) to relieve pain
4. Change to comfortable footwear that do not apply too much pressure on the nails
Another option is to apply clumps of cotton or dental floss under the ingrown side nail edge. Both methods are effective for mild to moderate cases.
Taping Procedure: One end of the tape is placed against the side of the ingrown toenail, with the rest twisted around the toe. The goal is to push the side of the nail fold away from the nail to relieve pressure. Taping is the safest and least painful procedure of the conservative options.
Doctors can apply a splint to the edge of the ingrown toenail by cutting the vinyl intravenous tube and trimming it to fit with one end cut diagonally for easy insertion. After a digital block or infiltration of local anesthesia, the splint is placed on the side of the ingrown plaque and secured with tape, cyanoacrylate adhesive, suture, or wound closure strips.
Patients often get pain relief after a splint is applied.
Another non-surgical method, applied by the doctor, involves making a cotton nail cast by using forceps to introduce a small U-shaped piece of cotton between the nail plate and the affected nail fold. The cast is fixed and hardened with cyanoacrylate adhesive. Anesthesia is not necessary. The cotton cast can be removed after two months, when it resolves, or it can be dropped on its own.
Orthonyxia involves placing a small metal brace on the nail after the involved part of the nail has been excised. The metal brace has an omega shape in the center and U-shaped hooks on both sides. After the hooks have been placed around both edges of the nail, tension is applied to the brace, then secured to the nail plate with an adhesive.