Home Treatment Tips for Ingrown Toenails
It’s amazing how something so small can cause so much discomfort. Most of us have experienced the pain of an ingrown toenail, but did you know you can treat them at home?
Ingrown toenails are caused when the nail edge grows into the skin around the toe. This very common condition can cause intense discomfort, especially when the toenail starts to grow into the soft flesh of the toe. This can cause a lot of pain when walking, and severe pain even when slightly knocked. Inflammation is produced once the edge of the toenail breaks through the skin.
Ingrown toenails may not be too bad at first, but as the condition advances it worsens and may result in an infection. If you have noticed any redness or swelling around the nail, a drainage of pus, or a thin discharge of blood, then the ingrown toenail may have become infected, at which point you should consult a specialist.
Why does an ingrown toenail develop?
There are various reasons behind the development of an ingrown toenail. For some, a tendency towards this common disorder may be inherited. For others, an ingrown toenail is the outcome of an injury such as kicking or stubbing your toe or having something heavy fall on it. It can also be from constantly wearing closed shoes while training or hiking.
Usual causes include trimming the nail too short when clipping it. This is because when the nail is too short, the skin may fold over it. Another common cause is wearing shoes that are too tight. Ingrown toenails can also be related to toenail fungal infections or losing a toenail.
3 home treatment tips for ingrown toenails:
- Soak your foot in warm Epsom-salt water
This is a common way to alleviate the soreness experienced from an ingrown toe. You’ll need to soak your toe in warm, Epsom salt-infused water for 20- 30 minutes at night. Just add one or two tablespoons of Epsom salts. Be sure to always keep your foot dry, except when soaking.>
- Comfortable shoes and socks
Wearing uncomfortable shoes and socks, they can cause unnecessary pressure on your toes. Be extra careful if you are an active person, as tight shoes and socks are a very common cause of ingrown toenails. If you already have an ingrown toenail, try to avoid coloured socks entirely, because the dye used to colour them can run when your feet perspire, and if the dye enters the affected area, it can cause further harm.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
If you’re looking to quell the pain whilst trying out one of these recommended home treatments, then we suggest speaking to your pharmacist about over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. This will give you temporary relief while the ingrown toenail heals.
Home treatment is strongly discouraged if you suspect you have an infection, or if you have a medical condition that puts your feet at a high risk of damage, such as diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation.
If home treatment is inappropriate or your ingrown toenail is not getting better with home treatment, you should seek medical advice.
The specialist podiatrists at Fitter Feet can cure the problem by removing the ingrown portion of the nail under local anaesthetic. Some people have ingrown nails off and on for years. Fitter feet podiatrists can perform a nail operation to make the nail permanently narrower so that it doesn’t grown in again.