Got An Ingrown Toenail? 3 Things You Can Do
There are many things in this world that can be painful, but there are few things more painful than an ingrown toenail. This is particularly true when you get ingrown toenails on a recurring basis. Ingrown toenails can quickly become infected, making them even harder to treat. Once it becomes infected, it is imperative that you seek medical attention. However, if you have an ingrown toenail that is not yet infected, there are some things that you can do at home to minimize the pain, prevent an infection from occurring, and possibly avoid the ingrown toenail from coming back again.
1. Soak the Affected Foot
To reduce pain and swelling, soak the affected foot. There are two ways that you can soak your foot. The first is to soak your foot in warm, soapy water a few times a day for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add some Epsom salts for some additional relief. The second soak is one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar in a basin of warm water once daily for roughly 20 minutes. Apple cider vinegar is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and pain-relieving properties.
2. Lift the Nail Up
As long as the nail is not severely ingrown, meaning that it does not contain pus yet, you need to try to encourage proper growth of the nail. To do this, the nail needs to be lifted up. Now, this may be a bit uncomfortable at first because your toe is tender; however, this is an important step of the process. For proper nail growth to be encouraged, you need to be able to tuck a piece of dental floss or tiny pieces of cotton underneath the lifted nail. This will help ensure that the nail does not grow back into the skin. To reduce the risk of bacteria, soak the floss or cotton in alcohol before placing underneath the nail.
3. Wear Properly Fitting Shoes
Take a close look at the socks and shoes that you are wearing. Are they too tight? If so, this may be the cause of your recurring ingrown toenails because the shoes are rubbing against your toes all day. If necessary, speak with a shoe expert who can help you get properly fitted shoes, as this will greatly reduce the risk of ingrown toenails in the future. While your ingrown toenail is healing, try to stick to sandals or open-toed shoes.
If your ingrown toenails continue to be a problem, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for ingrown toenail services. In extreme cases, nail removal may be necessary.