Ingrown toenails are not only totally annoying but incredibly painful! A little discomfort can quickly lead to very bad pain, and it can leave serious damage behind if its not treated, even leading to bone infection according to the Mayo Clinic.
You might even have to have surgery if the area gets infected. The area definitely needs to be actively treated to avoid getting to this point.
How do toenails become ingrown to begin with?
Any appendage containing a nail can get ingrown. Usually its the big toe though. Genetics actually play a factor in this as well, but other factors may also cause it:
Shoes are not just for looks, you need to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. Many people get attached to certain style of shoes and will even sacrifice a size lower to be seen in them. The tip of your nail will dig into the skin and over time the result will be nails growing in the wrong direction. Always make sure your footwear is comfortable and size proper.
Improper Nail Maintenance
Cut toenails in a straight line, not an oval as you would fingernails. Nails can grow into the skin when they are trimmed wrong.
Stubbing your toe can cause the nail to get pushed under the skin, and the skin around it can then grow over the nail. The result is one nasty ingrown toenail.
Diabetes is a red flag for ingrown toenails. Many diabetics experience desensitized feet. Thus any small injury can cause serious issues. Monitor extra special your nails and be vigilant about nail care and maintenance.
What does an ingrown toenail look like?
Its not something thats hidden and the symptoms are easy to identify. But, as mentioned, decrease sensation in the feet can make the condition more hidden than it should be. Here are the common symptoms:
Nail bed pain/irritation – sensitive to the touch.
Affected toe is swollen and red.
Secretes blood and pus.
If you have any of these, you probably have an ingrown toenail. Quick action is necessary in order to avoid things from getting worse.
Heres how you can treat and eliminate ingrown toenails at home:
(Contact your doctor if these dont work.)
1. Foot Soak
This is very effective. Regular soaks will make your skin soft and supple This can prevent ingrown toenails from occurring altogether. You want to soak your feet in warm or hot water two to four times per week. Do this for at least a 20 minute period at a time.
Also, use Epsom salts to further soften the foot skin and the toenails. This is actually a great way to relax after a long day as well!
2. Cotton Ball Remedy
Do the foot bath, and once softened, take a small piece of cotton and roll it between your fingers until you get a tube shape. Now put the cotton tube roll between the skin and affected toenail.
It may be too intense pain-wise, so you may not be able to do it and may have to see a doctor. But if there is no pain you should feel some pressure relief. The nail wont be pressing into your skin anymore. Keep it there until you do your next foot bath.
3. Additional Pain-Relieving Home Remedies
Pain is a huge issue for ingrown toenails. Here are some remedies to help with that:
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Take a cap-full of apple cider vinegar and pour into a small bowl. Now dip a cotton ball in there and apply it to the ingrown toenail, and this can reduce the chance of infection.
Soak a cotton ball into pure eucalyptus oil. Now gently rub it over the affected area and it can lessen pain and ward off infection.
You want to rub a thin slice of lemon over the affected area and press gently over the ingrown toenail. Try to secure this in place with a bandage and leave it overnight. This may help fight and prevent infection.
Stay off your feet as much as you can until the toenail is healed and always wear shoes which are safe and comfortable. Once you get things healed, prevent having it occur again by not making the same mistakes!
Choose your footwear wisely and employ foot baths to soften the skin and prevent ingrown toenails from occurring. Always go to your doctor if things progress and get worse.
Share this important healing ingrown toenail info with friends and family!