Since ancient times, nails have been taken as an indicator of one’s health and tend to be markers of malnutrition, infection as well as serious health-related issues. But other than being great indicators, nails have their fair share of conditions that can affect anyone at any time.
Almost all of us have at some point in our lives, suffered from the unrelenting pain of an ingrown toenail. It usually happens when the corner of a nail digs inside the skin on either side of the toe or at the end and still keeps growing inwards.
What results is a pain that is almost unbearable, coupled with inflammation which at times could also lead to the formation of pus if perchance the inflamed skin starts to grow any extra tissue?
Medical attention needs to be given immediately since there is every chance that the entire toe might get infected which will then have to be treated through surgical methods.
Studies have found that it is mostly adults who suffer from an ingrown toe have reported it has affected the big toe mostly.
It is not exactly certain as to what causes ingrown toenails but it has been found that people who wear too tight footwear or those who cut their toenails too short and round are at a greater risk of getting affected by this problem.
Also, trimming the nails in an improper manner as well as injury caused to the nail due to picking on it can also result in a nail in-growth.
The problem of the ingrown nails could be easily prevented if one grooms oneself properly and makes a conscious decision of wearing shoes that are well fitted and comfortable.
There are a number of ways in which an ingrown nail could be successfully treated at home if they are found out early.[Read: How to get rid of Thick Toenails Naturally]
Soaking your feet in warm water has been known to relieve not just soreness but also fatigue out of your body. It is also helpful with the treatment of ingrown nails since it softens the skin around the affected area as well as helps with the inflammation.
Heat half a basin of water and add a tablespoon of Epsom salt in it and soak your feet for up to 20 minutes twice daily. You also have the option of adding antibacterial solutions to the water since they have been known to help with the pain and reduce inflammation.
Keep it Dry
It is highly crucial that you keep your foot dry at all times since a wet foot might result in the onset of infection which is exactly what you would want to avoid if you do not want the condition to get worse.
If you find that the skin of the affect toe-nail is broken here might be a chance of an infection, you need to think about using certain over-the-counter ointments that have been known to work well with ingrown toenails such as Neosporin which also helps with the prevention of any kind of infection on the affected area.
You might also want to consider over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you deem fit.
Pull the Skin Away
If you think you can tolerate a little bit of pain, you might want to consider pulling the skin that has formed over the toe away ever so slightly with the help of a nail file or a cutter so that the nail, as well as the skin, might get some breathing space. But make sure to do so gently without hurting the toe too much.
Consider putting some small pieces of moist cotton pads in between your toenail and the skin to give a sort of cushioning effect to the skin.
Make sure to soak the cotton in some warm water with a few drops of antiseptic in it. You can also protect the toenail by wrapping it in some cotton bandage.
Change In Shoes
If the cause of your condition is tightly fitted shoes, consider changing them immediately. It is very important that your toes do not get scrunched when you wear any kind of shoes.
Which is why the fabric of the shoes should be soft as well as has enough space for your toes to breathe freely. You could also consider shifting to sandals for a time so as to give your toes the much-needed rest.
Visit a Podiatrist
If you suspect that there is a chance that your toe might get infected, visit a podiatrist immediately.