Have you ever suffered from an ingrown toenail? Then you know how painful it can be when the side of a toenail grows into the soft skin nearby. Though it usually happens to the toenails, a fingernail can actually become ingrown too.
How does this happen? And what are some ways to take care on an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail can be caused by shoes that are too tight, nails not being cut right, a nail injury, or having uncommonly curved toenails.
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Also, people who have diabetes, or other health problems that stop the blood from flowing to the feet properly, are more likely to get ingrown toenails.
Some signs of an ingrown toenail are pain that doesn’t stop, redness, and swelling. If not treated right away, onychocryptosis, or ingrown toenail, can lead to infection.
This will be seen by redness and swelling around the nail, and pus and watery discharge which is colored with blood.
There are ways to treat an ingrown toenail at home. However, if you already see signs of infection, go to a doctor, because an infection can spread and lead to problems.
Warm Water Soak
If you’re looking to lessen the pain, swelling, and tenderness brought on by an ingrown toenail, try soaking your foot in warm water a few times a day.
- Fill a foot tub with warm water.
- Soak your feet for 15- 20 minutes
- Do this three to four times a day to help pain.
Cotton Wedge Under the Nail
After you soak your foot in the warm water, you can try putting a cotton wedge under your nail to make sure it grows above the skin. This will help the pain and let it heal faster.
- Soak your feet in warm water and dry them very well.
- Lift the nail carefully with a pair of tweezers that is not too sharp.
- Put a small rolled up piece of cotton between the nail and skin.
- To stop infection, use a new piece of cotton each time you soak your feet.
Note: you may feel some pain in the beginning, but it will get better quickly. Make sure not to push the cotton roll more than the swollen skin lets.
Another good cure for an ingrown toenail is Epsom salt, or magnesium sulphate. It will help make the skin soft, so that it will be easier to bring out the ingrown toenail, and will bring down the swelling.
- Fill a foot tub with warm water and put in one tablespoon of Epsom salt.
- Soak your feet in the mixture for twenty minutes.
- Take your feet out and dry them well.
- Do this three to four times a week.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a good cure for ingrown toenail because it kills bacteria and brings down swelling. Also, because of the little amount of acid in the vinegar, it helps stop infection.
Here are two different ways to use apple cider vinegar to cure ingrown toenail. Use either one until you feel they have worked.
- In a small foot tub, mix the same amount of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and warm water.
- Soak your toenail in the mixture for 20- 30 minutes. After, dry your toenail very well.
- Another way to do it is to soak only a cotton ball in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and then put it on your toe.
- Leave it covered with a bandage for a few hours before taking it off.
Because hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, it lessens the risk of an ingrown toenail getting infected. It also helps lessen the pain and swelling that come from an ingrown toenail.
- Mix about ½ a cup of hydrogen peroxide in a small tub filled with warm water.
- Let your foot soak in the mixture for twenty minutes.
- Do this one to two times a day.
Another thing to be careful of, is shoes. If your shoes are too tight, they can push the nail into the nearby skin. It’s better to wear shoes made of softer fabrics with more room for your toes. Women should try not to wear high heels, to keep pressure off the toes.