An ingrown toenail can drive anyone crazy. Ingrown toenails are not only painful, but they are also very annoying. People often wonder how can something so minute hurt so much. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail, usually on the big toe – grow downward into the soft tissue below or alongside it. Anyone can fall victim to an ingrown toenail, but it is more prevalent in people whose toenails are more curved. As a result, toes that are tender, red, and swollen become the norm.
Preventing ingrown toenails and relieving the pain is the main goal for people who suffer with this problem. Below are some tips on how to achieve both.
Home Treatment For Ingrown Toenails – How To Get Rid Of Ingrown Toenails
There are over-the-counter products that one can use to help remedy the situation. Products that soften the nail and the skin around it are very helpful, because it helps to relieve pain. Dr. Scholl’s ingrown toenail products are very good.
Try helping the toenail grow out over the skin folds at its side. This can be achieved by soaking your foot in warm water to soften the nail. Then carefully insert a strand of cotton beneath the burrowing edge of the nail; doing this will allow the nail to-safely-grow over the skin that it is digging into. To avoid infection apply an antiseptic to the area. Until the nail has grown past the skin, insert a new strand of cotton on a daily basis.
Contrary to what some people believe – cutting a V-shaped wedge out of the toenail will not help. The wisdom behind this is — cutting a wedge out of the middle of the nail will somehow cause the edges to grow inward to fill the gap. This is complete nonsensical rhetoric – nails have always and will always grow from back to front.
If you have toenails that tend to curve – be very careful about wearing shoes that are tight. Tight fitting shoes can cause ingrown toenails. Wearing pointed or tight shoes presses the toenail into the soft tissue. If appropriate, wear sandals as much as you can. If you cannot wear sandals, then wide shoes are the next option. According to some experts, tight socks and stockings can also be problematic.
If you suffer with ingrown toenails, you might feel compelled to cut the toenail too short – this is not recommended. What you should do is soak the foot first; this reduces the possibility of splitting. After you are done, get a sharp straight edged clipper, and then cut straight across.
If you cut or break a nail, quickly attempt to smooth it out before it becomes a problem. An emery board or nail file at the edges will ensure that there are no sharp points that could eventually grow into the skin. Many people tend to cut toenails with scissors, but this is not a good practice. Never use a scissors to cut a toenail no matter how small they are. Scissors will often leave a sharp edge, and there is no space to work with them properly.
A number of things cause ingrown toenails, but improper cutting is probably the main one. However, accidents such as stubbing your toe are also a cause. Even dropping a heavy object on your toe can cause problems. The best way to avoid damage to your toes is to use caution when doing anything that can put your toes in harm’s way. It would be wise to wear loose comfortable shoes around the house, and steel toe boots when working with heavy objects.
In addition, if you have an ingrown toenail that is infected, go see a doctor as soon as possible.