Your Nastiest Nail Issues Solved
We all deal with chipped polish and a hangnail here and there. Next time you have a nail issue that's truly gross, here's what to do about it
Bacterial infectionBacterial infections tend to infect the skin around your nails, kind of like paronychia. "It becomes red, swollen, and very painful. Sometimes there's pus or drainage that comes out of it," says Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a New York City-based podiatrist. If the infection gets really bad, it can spread to the skin underneath the nail, "causing the nail plate to separate from the nail bed." (Gross, we know.)
Before you freak out, there is something you can do to prevent your nail from falling off. Cut the nail to relieve any pressure, and soak the infected nail in warm water mixed with Epson salt like Dr. Teals Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, $5.99. Submerge it for 20 minutes, twice a day, for three days. "The salt draws the infection closer to the surface and hopefully will bring it out of the skin," says Sutera. "It also helps reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain." Then, apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin and cover it up with a Band-Aid. If the swelling isn't reduced after three days, it's time to go to the doctor.
SEE NEXT PAGE: Fungal or yeast infection (aka Athlete's Foot)