Everyone who have experience with ingrown toenail will tell you that this condition is extremely painful and very difficult to heal.
Some usual activities like walking and wearing shoes can irritate your toe and cause severe pain.
The worst thing is that it can result with an infection that can expand quickly.
When Your Nail Isn’t Growing Properly
Ingrown toenail is also known as onychocryptosis and it is an usual condition that can impact everyone.
It appears when the toenail curls inwards which leads to growing of the sides into the toe instead of going flat above it. This results with tears in the skin beneath the nail that can easily get infected by bacteria of fungi.
Some of the less common factors include:
Thickening of the nail plate
Strangely formed toenails
Some toe deformities like hallux valgus
Using isotretinoin (acne medicine)
Ingrown toenails are visible. Once the nail gets into your skin, you will feel pain in the toe. This also leads to swelling and redness around the impacted part.
This condition develops in three stages:
Stage 1 is a mild condition manifested by nail-fold swelling, erythema, edema and pain with pressure.
Stage 2 moderate and is related with intensive swelling, drainage, infection and ulceration
Stage 3 is a extreme health problem manifested by chronic inflammation and nail- fold hypertrophy.
The second and the third stages need corrective surgery and proper medical attention, but the first stage can be healed at home.
6 Ways to Cure an Ingrown Toenail
The following simple remedies will not spend too much of your time and will solve your problem with toenail.
Anyway, in case you are a diabetic or suffer from any other health condition that causes neuropathy or harms your nervous system, you should consult with your podiatrist if you intend to use any of the following homemade medicines.
You will clean your nail and eliminate bacteria if you soak your foot in a warm bath made with Epsom Salt. This salt will decrease the pain and reduce the swelling in the toe.
All you need to do is to soak your foot in the bath for 15 minutes several times a day. This will make your toenail softer and gently tweak on the corners of the nail with a sterilized nail file which will reduce pressure on the skin. After the bath, you should dry your feet and put some band-aid on the toenail for the rest of the day.
Castile Soap Soak
If you don’t have time for 3-4 foot baths, you should soak your foot twice a day in warm water and castile soap in order to prevent any infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar is good alternative for Epsom salt in the prevention of any fungal infection. You can also apply diluted apple cider vinegar onto the skin around the toenail.
You can prepare an antibiotic ointment in order to relieve pain and inflammation. This ointment is made of 5 drops each of eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender essential oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil and 1 drop of oregano oil.
Mix with 2 oz each of aloe vera gel and coconut oil and slowly massage the affected area with the ointment after soaking and drying the foot.
Keep this remedy into a glass jar with high-quality lid and use it 2-3 times a day. When you apply the ointment, put some clean band-aid over the treated place.
Dental Floss & Cotton
Once you finish with the bath, insert small piece of unflavored dental floss beneath the corner of the nail and pull it up gently in order to lower the pressure. Make sure you aren’t forcing your nail because this could lead to another injury.
Use some piece of sterile gauze and apply it under the nail in order to disable it from contacting your skin and to force it to return to its proper position.
Do this always after soaking your toe with a new piece of gauze. Wrap your toe into bandage or medical tape. You will normalize your nail within 2 weeks.
Change Your Shoes
Tight shoes and high heels are pressing your toes and apply pressure on them. This also forces the ingrown nail deeper into the skin which is quite painful. You should wear flat shoes or sandals until your toenail is cured.
The Ultimate Ingrown Toenail Routine
Use these methods for a nail free of pain!
Make a bath of Epsom salt, castile soap or apple cider vinegar and soak your foot.
Lift the nail from the swollen skin with some disinfect nail file or fresh dental floss in order to relieve the pressure.
Apply diluted apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide under the nail.
Put gauze beneath the nail edge to lift it up.
Put some natural antibiotic cream to the skin around the nail.
Put some loose bandage around your toe. Make sure you are not applying pressure on the nail.
Wear sandals until you heal the ingrown toenail.
Iterate the treatment every day until you solve your problem.
In order to prevent this problem from reoccurring, you should trim your nails adequately (in straight line) and get rid of the high heels and tight shoes. Wash and dry your feet after work or exercising in order to prevent your skin around the nails to become soft.
Visit a podiatrist if this problem is reoccurring too often.