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Ingrown Fingernail - 5 Ways You Can Treat It!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Hyderabad  •  16 years experience
Ingrown Fingernail - 5 Ways You Can Treat It!

When your nail grows into the layer of skin around it, you develop ingrown fingernails- a rather painful and uncomfortable condition. Some of the most common causes of ingrown fingernails are improper trimming, nailbiting, fungal infection, excessive slow or fast growth and fungal infection.

Treating an ingrown fingernail

  1. Firstly, you need to dip the affected finger in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes at least twice a day. The warm water therapy will help to alleviate the swelling. Make sure to dry the finger after each dip as leaving the finger wet might aggravate the problem.
  2. Jam a tiny bit of cotton beneath the edge of your nail right after soaking so as to lift the nail away from the skin surface. Doing this for a number of times every day can be of great help. Lifting the nail away from the skin would permit the nail to grow past the skin.
  3. Vinegar water is a very effective home remedy for treating ingrown fingernails. If you find your ingrown nail to be infected, then make sure to use vinegar for treating it. Mix 4 parts water with 1 part vinegar and soak the infected nail in the vinegar solution for at least 15-20 minutes. Dry the finger completely after taking it out. Repeating this procedure for 2-3 days would minimize the infection.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide or H2O2 is a superb disinfectant which can effectively heal an ingrown fingernail. Get 35% food grade H2O2- take 2 tablespoons of it and dilute it with half a bucket of water. Now dip your affected fingernail in this solution for 15-20 minutes. The hydrogen peroxide treatment is considered the most effective treatment for ingrown nails since it not only makes the skin around the affected area soft, but also helps to allay the pain and infection. Make sure to dry your nail properly after the soak.
  5. Tea tree oil is an essential oil which works wonders against cases of infection. The antifungal and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil make it a very effective remedy against ingrown fingernails. Add a few drops of tea tree oil into lukewarm water and soak the fingernail for 15-20 minutes at least 2-3 times a day. You can also take about 4 drops of tea tree oil and mix it with one tablespoon of olive oil and massage the affected site gently.

The absorption of oil into the infected area would make the surrounding skin soft and give you prompt relief.

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