Treating an ingrown toenail without going to the podiatrist can sometimes be impossible. If you catch the problem early enough, however, then you can treat the ingrown toenail and get rid of the problem without too much pain.
Lift the Nail
One of the most important things you can do is lift the nail out of your skin and above the nail bed. You do not need to lift the entire nail up, but the side of the nail needs to clear the skin where it has been burrowing under.
The easiest way to do this is by first soaking your foot in a tub of warm water. You can add vinegar, salt, or soap to the water in order to sanitize the nail before you start lifting it. This will help to prevent bacteria from entering the nail bed during the process.
Soak your foot until the ingrown nail is softer and will bend more when you apply pressure to the white part of the nail. Remove your foot from the tub, and dry your foot.
Use a Nail File
Next, get a pair of nail clippers that has the attachment nail file inside. Turn the nail file out, and use it to get under the nail. Slowly push the file along the side of nail until you can fully lift up the side of the nail.
This may cause some pain and discomfort, but the pain will get much better once the nail is not in your skin. The nail may try to tuck itself back into your skin, so pull it up a few times so that it will stay above the skin.
Remember that although an ingrown nail may just hurt at the top of your foot where the nail is growing forward, the side of the nail needs to be lifted too so that you can cut the nail and curve it.
Cut the Nail
Lastly, cut the nail with your nail clippers. Make sure that you cut the top corner of the nail so that it is curved and not square. A square nail is sharp and is sure to push right back into your skin, so avoid square cuts no matter how pretty they are.
Also, trim the side of the nail so that the nail is not growing sideways at all. You can eliminate a lot of the pain and incorrect growth just by doing this.
With these steps, you can get rid of an ingrown toenail in many cases. If the pain still persists, then call your foot doctor so that you can have the toenail removed.