From home remedies to laser treatment – a range of ways to treat your ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails are a very common problem, causing severe pain, suffering, and seriously affecting quality of life. Treatment of ingrown toenails depends on the level of severity and includes home remedies, standard surgery, and laser treatment. When the ingrown toenail is fairly minor, or when the problem is just in its initial stages, it is sometimes possible to treat it at home. However, great care must be taken when attempting this, and only after consulting with a podiatrist. A more severely ingrown toenail will have other symptoms such as infection, pus, edema (swelling), and bleeding. In this situation, avoid treating it yourself and consult with a professional immediately. Neglecting the problem could lead to serious, and sometimes irreversible, damage. In which situations is it possible to treat an ingrown toenail at home? What are the home remedies that could help relieve the condition? What are the many advantages of laser treatment? This article will help guide you through the available options.
In which cases can home remedies be helpful?

When the ingrown toenail is not very serious, symptoms will include relatively minor pain, with swelling and redness in the area around the place where the nail has grown into the skin. In this situation, it is possible to try treating the problem using home remedies.


It is important to emphasize that these treatments are considered “first aid” only. Any pain relief is temporary, if at all. Various home treatments can never replace professional treatment by a specialist, and it is essential to consult with a professional before trying anything on your own to avoid making the situation even worse. If at any point you are in doubt about the level of severity of your ingrown toenail, please consult a podiatrist for professional diagnosis and treatment.


Tips for home treatment of ingrown toenails

  • Soak the feet in warm water with soap to soften the nail, then trim the nail’s edges as gently as possible
  • Soak the feet in salt water and polydine to disinfect the region
  • Use antibiotic cream on the area and bandage it to keep the region sterile and reduce the process of inflammation
Laser treatment – Advanced treatment for an ancient problem

In the past, the only solution available to individuals suffering from an ingrown toenail was full or partial removal of the nail. In many cases, this did not solve the problem at its root, meaning it could not prevent a recurrence. The unnecessary removal of the nail also caused patients suffering, pain, along with a less-pleasing appearance to the foot – and sometimes, even irreversible damage.


Today, thanks to technological advancements, patients can enjoy a fast, efficient solution that is also painless – treatment using a laser. This treatment is conducted using a CO2 laser, which is focused on the harmful cells located in the root of the nail.  The laser beam is aimed at the root of the nail, neutralizing these damaging cells and preventing irreparable growth of the nail.


Advantages of laser treatment:

  • Efficient solution with close to 100% success rate
  • Works well even in serious ingrown toenails and patients with diabetes
  • Single treatment to solve the problem once and for all
  • Precise treatment focused on the damaging cells located in the nail root
  • Fast treatment that takes just minutes
  • Chances of ingrown toenail recurrence with laser treatment is close to zero
  • Treatment is performed with local anesthetic and minimal sensation of pain – if at all
  • After completion of the process, recovery is fast; return to regular routine and full functioning by the very next day
  • Generally only minimal bleeding during the treatment
  • Treatment is performed with no stitches and esthetic results


How to prevent ingrown toenails?

Here are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of an ingrown toenail occurring:


  • Proper trimming of the nails – meaning non-excessive trimming, and not in a rounded shape, done after softening the nail region using warm water and soap
  • Maintain good foot hygiene – keeping the foot area hygienic prevents development of fungal infections, which could damage the nail. After taking a shower or washing the feet with soap and water, always dry the toes carefully, as well as the spaces between them. Avoid wearing closed shoes for extended periods and take care to change socks frequently.
  • Ensure good fit of shoes to the foot – it is important that the shoe fit the structure of the foot to avoid pressure on the nail.
  • Individuals with diabetes must carefully monitor the condition of their feet and ensure regular checkups with a podiatrist.

In certain situations where the ingrown toenail is not very serious, it is possible to try treating it using various home remedies, which could bring temporary relief. At the same time, please keep in mind that home remedies do not actually solve the problem! In order to prevent the ingrown toenail from becoming more severe, and to stop it from recurring, it is important to choose an efficient form of treatment which solves the problem once and for all – in other words, laser treatment.


Podiatrist Jonathan Caplin is a pioneer in the laser treatment of ingrown toenails in Israel. His extensive knowledge and experience using advanced, precise technologies mean that he can provide his patients with an efficient, focused solution, letting them return to full functioning.