I've never operated a forklift. I've never directed a plane in to an airport to land. I've never driven a truck cross-country, and I've never reprogrammed a computer. But I've fixed ingrown toenails. At last estimation, I've fixed over 400 of them in the last four years. I can't speak Italian, but you can be sure I'm an ingrown toenail expert.
Which is precisely why you should come see me if you have one, rather than attempting to remove it yourself, sitting on the edge of your bathtub, one foot propped up on the rim of the toilet. You may be able to operate a forklift, but I bet you are going to do more harm than good if you keep treating your ingrown toenail with self-surgery in your bathroom.
While waiting for your appointment (if you're coming to see me, we should be able to get you in very quickly!), don't mess with that toenail, especially if there is redness, swelling, or any kind of drainage (blood, pus, clear fluid). Soak the toe 10-15 min each day in warm water and Epsom salts (find them at your local drug store, and it'll tell you how much to put in a tub of water in the directions on the label). This will keep that drainage and fluid flowing OUT instead of getting trapped under the crust that can develop over the edge of the nail if the drainage is allowed to dry and harden.
Gross, right? You should have it taken care of.
Next, once you're done soaking it, put a little squidge of antibiotic ointment (like bacitracin, polysporin, or neosporin) on the border and cover it with a bandaid. Fabric or cloth bandaids work best, because with all the ointment and soaking the plastic ones can't grip you very well, and they tend to fall off. You end up spending all day reapplying bandaids. Funny shaped bandaids also work really well. I like the ones with four little arms. They may cost a dollar more, but they sure stay on your toe.
Finally, wear an open toed shoe or slipper to decrease the pressure on the area. Most importantly, wear an open toed shoe to the appointment when you come to see me to have it taken care of. If you're in a closed toed shoe (ballet flats, athletic shoes, work boots) there is no way my Professional Puffy Toe Dressing is going to fit in there when I'm done. You'll have to walk out barefoot, or buy a surgical shoe. Easier to bring your own sandal, right?
So now you've got the basics. Let me know when you need me, and I'll make sure it never bothers you again!