Treating an ingrown toenail at home is a simple process especially if you start the treatment at the first sign of any symptoms. This painful issue affects teens and adults. It is not something you see in young children. An ingrown toenail usually affects the big toe, though it can occur on any toe. The corners or edges of the nail will begin to grown into the skin causing pain and irritation. Tissue may begin to grow around the nail or a pocket of yellowish fluid will begin to accumulate. If left untreated the ingrown nail can get infected and grow an abscess. If the condition gets this far, you will most likely need surgery and should see a doctor right away. Early symptoms that you can identify are pain, redness and swelling at the edges of the nail on the toe. This is the time to begin the at home treatment discussed below.
What causes the Ingrown Toenail?
There are many causes of ingrown toenails some of these are as follows:
- incorrectly cut toenails
- Ill-fitting shoes.
- excessive sweating or poor foot hygiene
- nail infections
- toenail infections
- fungal nail disease
At home treatment
Ingrown toenails should be treated at home if you recognize it at early stage (before infection).
Follow these treatments for the prevention of toe nail infection:
- Soak the foot in warm water 3-4 times daily.
- Keep the foot dry during the rest of the day.
- Gently massage over the inflamed skin
- Place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the nail.
- You can apply a topical antibiotic to the area to ward off any infection.
- Wear comfortable shoes with adequate room for the toes. Consider wearing sandals until the condition clears up.
- If there is no improvement in 2-3 days, or if the condition worsens, call your doctor immediately.
Knowing how to prevent an ingrown nail is a key to staying pain free and keeping your feet healthy. Avoid tight fitting shoes as they squeeze your toes together and promote abnormal nail growth. Trim your toenails straight across and not rounded. Also, trim them so they are even with the edge of your toe. If they are too short, the pressure of your shoe can cause the nail to grow into your skin.