Ingrown nails (also known medically as Unguis incarnatus) are a common and painful condition in which the edges of a nail (one or both) grow into the nail bed. Ingrown nails can occur on nails of both the hands and the feet, but more commonly affect toes. Ingrown nails cause pain at the nail margins. If infection occurs, there may also be redness, swelling and drainage from the affected area. Wearing poorly fitting footwear is the most common cause of ingrown nails. Cutting the nail improperly (too short or rounded), trauma to the nail or wearing socks or hosiery that is tight fitting can also cause this condition.
Epsom salts have been used for years to treat ingrown nails and infections of the feet.
Ingrown Nails and Epsom Salt Soaks
- Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to a foot bath to treat infection/inflammation.
- Water should be warm but not hot.
- Diabetics should be careful that the water is not too hot as they may have decreased sensation to their feet and may be unable to tell if water is dangerously hot.
- Propolis comes from plants and tree sap and is harvested by honeybees. It is thought to have medicinal healing powers and can be used as both an antifungal and an antibacterial agent.
- Propolis tincture contains propolis extract and food-grade alcohol and can be used to heal wounds more quickly.
- It can be applied to ingrown nails to prevent them from becoming infected, or to treat mildly infected ingrown nails.
Why It Works
Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate which is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Epsom salts can provide soothing relief as well. Propolis tincture is thought to help prevent infection or to treat infection that is already present.
People who are allergic to pollen should not use propolis tincture, as bee pollen is present in small amounts and an allergic reaction is possible. If you have an ingrown nail that is red, swollen and is discharging purulent material (pus), you should consult a physician for treatment.