Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenail
Turmeric: Turmeric is known to have a lot of benefit, thanks to its anti-fungal, antiseptic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can be used in number of ways, either purchase a turmeric cream from the market and apply it on the affected area. Bandage the toe to avoid any impact to that area. This can be done two to three times in a day. You can also prepare a turmeric paste with a bit of mustard oil. Rub this paste on the affected region and cover it with a bandage. This can be done twice in a day.
Epsom salt: Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate and it is known to provide a soothing effect and also allows the skin to heal properly. Epsom salt acts as a disinfectant so help the nail to heal. It softens the area of the skin around the affected region so as to make it easier to draw out the ingrown nail. It also helps to reduce inflammation.
Ingrown Nail Vs Hangnail
A hangnail is another common issue that can cause pain and redness near the fingernails edge. However, a hangnail has different causes and treatments to ingrown nails.
A hangnail forms from skin cells that separate and grow away from surrounding skin. The result is a spiky shaped piece of skin next to the fingernail. Despite their name, hangnails are not nails at all. They are pieces of excess skin.
A person should not pull or bite a hangnail to remove it. This can leave an injury on the finger that could cause an infection.
Instead, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and gently clip it with clean nail clippers close to the base.
If it bleeds or is painful, apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage for 24 hours to help it heal.
Whats An Ingrown Toenail
When the edges of your toenail grow into the soft, surrounding skin, its called an ingrown toenail. You usually get ingrown toenails on your big toe, but any toenail can become ingrown.
Ingrown toenails result from:
- Shoes and socks at are too tight
- Toenail trauma and injury
- Wet feet
- Bad posture
Older people whose toenails thicken are prone to ingrown toenails so are teens with sweaty feet.
Typically, ingrown toenails cause toe pain, redness, and swelling. But sometimes the toe becomes infected. Then trouble follows.
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Continue Learning About Ingrown Nails
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
How Can I Manage My Symptoms
- Soak and lift the nail. Soak your ingrown nail in warm water for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times each day. Then gently lift the edge of the ingrown nail away from the skin. Wedge a small piece of cotton or gauze under the corner of the nail. You can also put dental floss under the nail to lift the edge away from the skin. This may help keep the nail from growing into the skin.
- Keep your nails clean and dry. Wash your hands and feet with soap and water. Pat dry with a clean towel. Dry in between each toe. Do not put lotion between your toes.
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When To See A Doctor
Although you can do many things to treat an infected toe at home, its important to understand when you need to seek medical care. Call your doctor or a podiatrist if:
- You are noticing redness, swelling, and/or drainage coming from your toe
- You think you may have a fungal infection and over-the-counter creams havent worked
- You have an infected or ingrown toenail and youre diabetic
- Your toenail infection symptoms dont go away, they worsen, or they keep coming back
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have a fever and notice red streaks on your skin that lead away from the infected area on your toe, as these symptoms indicate a more severe infection.
An infected toenail can impact your daily life, but it doesnt have to. Learning how to treat an infected toe and knowing when to call your doctor can get you back to doing all the activities you love. If youre concerned about an infection in your toe, you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist before attempting to treat painful symptoms at home.
Pack The Area With Dental Floss Or Cotton
According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, placing cotton under your nail may increase pain and allow harmful bacteria to thrive. Soaking the cotton or floss in alcohol before application may help reduce this risk.
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Treating Ingrown Fingernails Medically
How Can I Help Prevent An Ingrown Nail
- Carefully trim your nails. Cut your nails straight across. Do not cut them too short. Lightly file the nail corners if you have sharp edges. Do not round your nails. Do not rip or tear off the tips of your nails. This may cause your nail edge to grow into the skin. Use clippers, not nail scissors.
- Wear shoes and socks that fit well. Make sure they are not too tight. You may need to wear a shoe with the toe cut out, such as sandals, until your ingrown toenail heals. Do not wear shoes that have pointed toes or heels that are more than 2 inches high. Do not wear tight hose or socks. Wear socks that pull moisture away from your feet, such as cotton-acrylic blends.
- Inspect your nails daily. Look for signs of an ingrown nail. Manage problems early so the nail does not become infected.
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What Should You Do
- Dilute these two ingredients in warm water and then rub them over the sore nail with a cotton ball.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and then use it again if you feel necessary.
Is this ailment still bothering you? If the problem persists and the problem becomes more and more painful over time, see your doctor.
Sometimes the only solution to getting rid of an ingrown toenail is surgical removal.
How Can I Prevent An Ingrown Toenail
You can take these steps to prevent an ingrown toenail:
- Soak the nail in warm water before cutting, or cut nails after a shower or bath.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip nails.
- Trim toenails across the top. Dont round the corners.
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
- Avoid repetitive trauma to the sides of the nails.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider. With diabetes, do NOT be hesitant about seeking medical help.
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Foot Health: What To Do About An Ingrown Toenail
Warm soaks and proper nail trimming may do the trick, but sometimes it’s best to see a foot specialist right away.
The medical term for this painful condition is onychocryptosis. It develops, usually on the big toe, when a corner of the toenail curves down and digs into the skin. The symptoms may include soreness, swelling, redness, and warmth. If the toenail breaks the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Eventually, skin may start to grow over the ingrown part of the nail.
You can do several things at home to treat an ingrown toenail. However, if you suspect an infection, or if you have diabetes, circulation problems, or numbness in the toes, skip the home remedies and see your clinician or a foot specialist immediately.
Preventing ingrown toenails
Using Cotton Or Gauze
If soaking alone does not bring relief within a day or two, a person can try gently encouraging the nail to grow upward with cotton or gauze.
After soaking, take a tiny piece of clean gauze or cotton and insert it under the nail. This can help relieve pressure and pain, separating the nail from the skin slightly.
Replace the cotton at least once per day until the nail has grown out and healed.
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Management Of The Ingrown Toenail
JOEL J. HEIDELBAUGH, MD, and HOBART LEE, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Am Fam Physician. 2009 Feb 15 79:303-308.
Patient information: See related handout on ingrown toenails, written by the authors of this article.
Ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, most commonly affects the great toenail. Many anatomic and behavioral factors are thought to contribute to ingrown toenails, such as improper trimming, repetitive or inadvertent trauma, genetic predisposition, hyperhidrosis, and poor foot hygiene. Conservative treatment approaches include soaking the foot in warm, soapy water placing cotton wisps or dental floss under the ingrown nail edge and gutter splinting with or without the placement of an acrylic nail. Surgical approaches include partial nail avulsion or complete nail excision with or without phenolization. Electrocautery, radiofrequency, and carbon dioxide laser ablation of the nail matrix are also options. Oral antibiotics before or after phenolization do not improve outcomes. Partial nail avulsion followed by either phenolization or direct surgical excision of the nail matrix are equally effective in the treatment of ingrown toe-nails. Compared with surgical excision of the nail without phenolization, partial nail avulsion combined with phenolization is more effective at preventing symptomatic recurrence of ingrowing toenails, but has a slightly increased risk of postoperative infection.
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Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment: Do Not
- Fall for the home treatment that alleges an ingrown toenail can be cured by cutting a V-shaped wedge into the top of the nail. Proponents claim this encourages nail growth toward the center of the nail, instead of at the sides where the problem is located. This simply isn’t true. All nail growth occurs from the base of the nail toward the top of the toe.
- Attempt surgery at home. The skin around your ingrown toe is irritated, and possibly infected. Attempting to cut into the area at home puts you at risk of further complications, and may force you to visit the ER for additional medical treatment.
- Cut your nails down to the nailbed. If your nails are cut too short, this can make it easier for your toenail to grow into the surrounding skin.
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Heres The Ounce Of Prevention
These measures can prevent toenails from becoming ingrown:
- Protect your feet from injury.
- Wear proper fitting shoes that dont pinch or put pressure on your toes.
- Cut your toenails so theyre even with the tips of your toes.
- Consider surgery if your toenails are abnormally curved or thick.
- If youre a diabetic, check your toes and feet daily for problems.
If an ingrown toenail is causing you pain and problems, at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenails
The symptoms for ingrown toenails are primarily characterized by the stages involved in it. While the symptoms in the early stages might be preliminary and not that severe, the same can definitely cause havoc if it is left untreated.
Early stage symptoms:
- Slight inflammation around the toenail
- Tenderness around the affected area
- Accumulation of fluid
- Extreme pain when the toenail is pressed
- Occasional bleeding
- Pus formation and oozing as well
- Overgrowth of skin around the area
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Care Advice For Ingrown Toenail
How Is An Ingrown Toenail Treated
You can treat an ingrown toenail at home. These steps help control the infection and prevent further pain:
- Soak the foot in warm water and Epsom salts twice daily.
- Keep the foot dry the rest of the time.
- Gently lift the edge of the nail and place some cotton or dental floss between the nail and the skin. Change the pad every day.
- Use an antibiotic cream and a bandage.
- Wear roomy shoes or sandals.
- Use pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if needed.
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How To Treat An Ingrown Toenail At Home
They can take several weeks to heal, so how can you help your child during this time? First, soak your child’s foot twice a day in warm water and antibacterial soap for 20 minutes. While the foot is soaking, massage the swollen part of the cuticle outward away from the nail. If your child’s cuticle is just red and irritated, an antibiotic ointment is probably not needed.
But if the cuticle becomes swollen or oozes pus, put over-the-counter antibiotic ointment on the area where the pus is coming out three times a day for up to a week. The pain your child has is usually caused by the corner of the toenail rubbing against the raw cuticle.
What Causes An Infected Toenail
Your toenail can become infected in a number of ways, including fungal infections or even calluses caused by your shoes. One of the most common types of toenail infections is an ingrown toenail. If your toenail is ingrown, it means the edges of your toenail start to grow into the skin next to your toenail. Ingrown toenails can be red and inflamed, sore, and may even be filled with pus.
The most common causes of an ingrown toenails include:
- Cutting your toenail too short or too long
- Toenail injury
- Curved toenails
- Improper footwear that puts pressure on your big toes
- Cutting your toenail improperly
- Certain sports and activities like dance, soccer, and skiing
- Poor foot hygiene
Infections on your toes may be common if you have diabetes or similar conditions that cause poor circulation or a weakened immune system. Diabetics should check their feet often and have regular appointments with a podiatrist because they may not feel the pain of a toe infection until the problem is severe.
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