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There was a time when a hangnail or dry cuticles would've gone unnoticed. Now, nail issues are front and center thanks to the ubiquitous nail art trend and the popularity of polish in general. With nails becoming more of an accessory required to complete your look, nail issues have never been more important.

And we're not talking "issues" like chipped polish or short stubby nails that refuse to grow. This isn't #firstworld(nail)problems. These are disgusting -- and serious -- issues like discolored nails, fungal infections, and even nail tumors.

Skip ahead to see how to solve the grossest nail issues.

If your gross nail issue is making you feel less than pretty, we've got good news: You don't have to be the pariah of the nail-loving community. You can fix your problems with the ingenious cures board-certified dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, MD, shared with us here.

Bailey says that while these at-home treatments should solve your nail issues, they need to be coupled with some patience (nails grow just one millimeter per month after all). Ready to get your nails in check? See the genius at-home fixes now.

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Ridges on your thumb
Along with leg shaking and hair twirling, thumbnail flicking is another unconscious habit. The repeated backwards pressure causes "the thumbnail to become thick and ridged," says Bailey.

The fix? Grab some Bag Balm, $8.89. It's an old-time farm remedy for repairing horses' hooves, but it's also great for softening human nails, says Bailey. "It's loaded with lanolin, which comes from wool and softens the keratin in nails." Whether you have ridged or splitting nails, Bailey says, "it's a wonderful cure-all for nail abnormalities."

Make sure to apply the ointment soon after you come out of the shower. "Your nails soak up more water than your skin or hair. You can seal the water in with the ointment, which helps make the nail soft and pliable," she says.

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Ingrown toenails
When your toenails grow and cut into your skin, the fold can get infected. It may even begin to grow over the nail, at which point you'll have to go to the doctor. But when you notice that your toenail is starting to grow into your skin, all you need to prevent an infection is run-of-the-mill dental floss.

Take the floss and gently nudge it under the nail plate that's growing into your skin. The floss helps detach the nail from the skin so the skin can heal. But, Bailey says, you have to do this daily in order to decrease the swelling. You can also soak your feet in warm salt water for 10 minutes a day, and apply Neosporin to help reduce inflammation, says Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM, podiatrist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

To prevent an ingrown toenail from happening in the first place, always cut your nails straight across, and avoid wearing pointy-toed shoes.

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Yellow, discolored nails
If you've gone from one trendy polish color to the next without giving your nails a break, after a while you might notice they've taken on a yellow hue, says Bailey. What's more, all that nail polish remover has likely dried out your nails.

The treatment is Bag Balm again. First, lay off the polish. Then, for a quick fix, you can buff the surface of your nails to remove the surface discoloration. (Bailey warns that too much buffing will thin your nails, so don't go crazy with the buffer.)

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Paronychia
While paronychia sounds like a rare disease you pick up while bushwacking through a jungle, this infection is actually pretty common. When you cut your cuticles or the skin around your nails, water can seep in and create the ideal climate for microorganisms to thrive. An infection eventually causes the skin to swell and puss.

Bailey suggests using an over-the-counter Lotrimin solution, an anti-fungal medicine (it's usually sold as a cream, but Bailey says to get the liquid version in a dropper bottle). Just drip the solution into your nail fold and open skin. And always apply rubbing alcohol after your hands touch water. If it swells and becomes tender then you should see a doctor -- especially if there's pus.

There was a time when a hangnail or dry cuticles would've gone unnoticed. Now, nail issues are front and center thanks to the ubiquitous nail art trend and the popularity of polish in general. With nails becoming more of an accessory required to complete your look, nail issues have never been more important.

And we're not talking "issues" like chipped polish or short stubby nails that refuse to grow. This isn't #firstworld(nail)problems. These are disgusting -- and serious -- issues like discolored nails, fungal infections, and even nail tumors.

Skip ahead to see how to solve the grossest nail issues.

If your gross nail issue is making you feel less than pretty, we've got good news: You don't have to be the pariah of the nail-loving community. You can fix your problems with the ingenious cures board-certified dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, MD, shared with us here.

Bailey says that while these at-home treatments should solve your nail issues, they need to be coupled with some patience (nails grow just one millimeter per month after all). Ready to get your nails in check? See the genius at-home fixes now.
BY SHARON J. YI | SHARES
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