An ingrown nail is painful and irritating. This is because the toenail’s curled ends grow into the skin, which makes it dig into the skin of the toe. When the edge of the nail breaks the skin, an inflammation and pain arises. This condition causes pain and serious injury to the toe at times. Such a state is medically termed as onychocryptosis. The pain will be minor at first, but it will progress and grow worse, often leading to infections which become quite difficult to treat. An infection will exist when the skin has reddened and swollen around the nail, with a small abscess of pus and watery discharge.
An ingrown toenail will arise due to these factors:
- Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly (either they are small or too large)
- Being an active sports player, involving games like soccer, squash, tennis, and basketball
- Any form of trauma to the feet
- Poor hygiene of the feet
- Constant pressure on the feet
- Unusually curved toenails
- Improper nail trimming
- Growing toenails unusually long
- Deformities on the foot like bunions
- Being obese
- Fungal infections
If you want to try fixing an ingrown nail at home, try these methods below, but it is advisable to visit a physician before trying to remove it first.
Soak your feet in warm water mixed with soap. This will remove all traces of bacteria forming in the harmed toe. Soak the feet at least three times a day. Also, add epsom salt in the water. This will soften the skin around the ingrown nail and draw it out of the skin. Epsom salt is a drying agent and soothes disrupted skin, and it can disinfect the ingrown nail as well.
If soaking did not help the ingrown nail, wash your foot with Castile soap twice a day. Castile soap has natural ingredients. This will make your feet clean and also dry, and it will loosen the skin gathered under the curved toenail.
Apply apple cider vinegar to the affected area to treat it if it still remains. Add a quarter cup of vinegar to lukewarm water and soak your feet in the mixture for 30 minutes. This will aid in removing any infection and also, it will cure bacterial formation due to the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar. You can also apply apple cider vinegar directly with a cotton ball.
You should then try placing a cotton wisp under the ingrown nail or use a dental floss under it. This will help shift the nail to grow correctly instead of piercing the skin downwards. First, lift the corner of the ingrown nail and place a piece of cotton or gauze under it which has been rolled between the fingers to form a small wick. You can use the dental floss that is unflavored to elevate the nail. Change the roll daily, and after two weeks, you will see a gap formed between the toenail and skin, allowing you to cut off the nail now.
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