Ever had ingrown toenails? If you have, you know how painful they can be. The great news is treatment for ingrown toenails is actually easy and relatively pain-free. A nail infection on the other hand brought about by ingrown toenails can be much more painful and lead to complications especially when left untreated.
How Ingrown Nails Develop
When you cut your toenails too short especially around the skin folds’ edges, ingrown toenails can develop. You will feel pain and discomfort as a sharp edge of a nail starts growing into the edge of your skin folds. As it grows and digs through, a wound develops and can result to infection.
There are great home remedies that can treat and prevent ingrown toenails which we will discuss in this post. But let us first throw in some precautions.
If you suffer from any medical condition that affects circulation such as diabetes, do not attempt to treat a nail infection yourself as improper treatment can further lead to complications and at worst can even result in amputation. It is best to leave treating of any foot injury to a health care professional. What you can do is make sure that you keep your foot clean and dry and be mindful of any sign of problems then call your doctor right away should you notice any.
If you do not have any nerve or circulatory problem you can opt to take care of an ingrown toenail yourself with these home remedies.
Treating and Preventing Ingrown Toenails
- Soak – Soaking your toe in warm water with a tablespoon or two of Epsom salts can help relieve soreness. Soak your toe at least once a day for around 5 – 10 minutes. You can also use an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory soak called Domeboro Astringent Solution which is commonly recommended by doctors. You can buy this without a prescription at several drugstores. Soak for about 20 minutes every night to decrease inflammation which would allow the nail to grow out.
- Apply Ointment – If your nail is close to breaking the skin or has already done so, a topical antibiotic dressing is recommended. Apply it on the wound to prevent infection.
- Don’t Act Like You’re a Surgeon – You will only make things worse if you keep on doing bathroom surgery on your toe. Doing so puts you at greater risk of catching infection or worsening the infection. It is best to go to a podiatrist.
- Properly Trim Your Nails – This is a crucial factor in preventing ingrown toenails. Trim them straight across. File the corners a little if they are too sharp.
- White Socks Only – If your nail had already cut into your skin, it is best to wear white socks only as dyes in colored socks can run and get into the wound which can possible complicate matters further.
- Get New Shoes – Your ingrown toenails may be because your toes are getting pinched in your shoes. Get a pair with a roomier toe.
- Let Them Breathe – If the weather permits, wear open-toed sandals so that your toes can breathe. Healing is a lot faster in open air.
These are just a few home remedies that will help treat and prevent ingrown toenails from happening and causing you pain. Remember though that it is always best to see your doctor.
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