An ingrown toenail is so painful and extremely annoying. 1 out of 5 people on average has a problem with ingrown toenails.
If the toenail is ingrown, it grows into the skin and it is curved, usually at the sides of your nail. This generally causes the nail to dig into the skin. This will irritate your skin, and that usually causes swelling, redness, pain, and warmth in the toe.
If an ingrown nail causes a break in your skin, the bacteria might enter and also cause an infection in that area, and that is usually marked by a foul odor and drainage. But, even if your toe is not red, painful, warm, or swollen, the nail that curves into the skin can cause an infection.
Causes of Ingrown Toenail
The most common causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Trauma – an ingrown toenail can be a result of trauma, like having an object fall on the toe, stubbing the toe, or engaging in some activities that involve constant pressure on the toes, like running or kicking.
- Heredity – the tendency for ingrown toenails in many people is inherited.
- Improper trimming – the reason for ingrown toenails can be cutting the nails too short. This pushes the skin that is next to the nail to fold over your nail.
- Nail conditions – the ingrown toenails can usually be caused by some nail problems, like losing a nail because of trauma or fungal infections.
- Improper footwear size – the ingrown toenails can also be a result from wearing shoes and socks that are too short or too tight.
Luckily, there are natural remedies for this problem. Try one of them and you will notice an improvement.
Soak the nail in a hot water – the water that you will use for this method have to be hot enough to keep the feet in for 15 to 20 minutes. The water should be at room temperature minimum. Do this minimum once a day and stop it when your nail is healed. After you soak the foot, massage gently the outside of your toe in order to loosen the nail.
Do this until your nail is healed. You can add soap or Epsom salt to your water in order to cleanse the area.
Gauze Treatment – this particular treatment takes more steps and needs more attention
- Before you soak the feet in the water, take tweezers, nail clipper, cotton, scissors, and gauze behind you.
- Soak the feet in the water like in the previous treatment, and soak them in a hot water for minimum 15 to 20 minutes. This will help to disinfect your ingrown toenail and will soften the skin.
- After that, pat the feet dry with a towel. Cut the nails straight. If you cut the nails round, you can get an ingrown nail.
- Lift up your ingrown nail with a sterile tweezers very carefully and put a small piece of cotton under it. You should be careful and patient, don’t push too hard. The cotton will prevent any infection and irritation. After that, wrap the toe with gauze.
- The feet should breathe – don’t wear shoes and socks at home.
- Check the nail a few times a day, and you should change the cotton once a day. You should take care of the hygiene, and on this way you will remove the ingrown toenail in just 2 weeks, when the new nail grows.
Tip: In order to prevent inflammation, you should put a lemon slice on your nail and wrap it with a gauze and leave it like that overnight. The lemons contain acid that fights and prevents infections.
Preventing the ingrown toenails
Luckily, most of the toenails can be prevented. There are many ways to minimize the ingrown toenail, and here we have two most usual and best ways to prevent this.
- Well-fitted socks and shoes – We recommend you not to wear shows that are tight or short in the toe area. Also, avoid shoes which are loose – they can cause pressure on your toes, especially when walking briskly or running.
- Proper trimming – the most usual cause of ingrown toenails is too short nails. The proper trimming is the greatest way to prevent this. You should cut the toenails in a straight line, but don’t cut them too short.