An ingrown toenail is a common condition that is also known as Onychocryptosis. This condition mainly occurs in the
large toes due to the growth of the nail edge into the flesh of the toe. This sideways growth of the nail pushes into the skin causing it to break.
Symptoms range from redness, soreness, inflammation to yellow or clear pus and lead to a lot of foot pain and foot problems. This problem can be treated at home, but if severe, professional ingrown toenail treatment should be sought.
What are the Risk Factors of an Ingrown Toenail?
Some people are more prone to this condition compared to others. Some common practices such as wearing tight shoes, injuries to the toenails or cutting them too short or unevenly might lead to this condition. Other risks factors that are unavoidable include diabetes, fungal disease, obesity, arthritis, excessive sweating, age and so much more. Moreover, previous nail surgery and repeated injury to the foot can also trigger an ingrown toenail.
Home Treatment and Remedies
It is most advisable to treat the toenail as soon as you detect the symptoms to avoid further complications.
Diluting white vinegar, Clorox bleach footbath and Epsom salts in warm water followed by soaking the foot for about 10 minutes is a good home remedy. This practice not only reduces swelling but will also make the toe less tender.
One can also buy an antibiotic ointment and apply to the area before bandaging. Keep the foot elevated at all times to reduce pressure on the toe as well.
After each soaking, one should place dental floss or cotton beneath the ingrown toe nail. While doing this, remember to change the cotton and dental floss on a daily basis. After some time, the toenail will eventually grow above the toenail.
While you are still sick, wear sensible shoes such as open shoes to avoid wet and warm conditions that would encourage the growth of bacteria worsening the infection.
If, after an ingrown toenail home treatment, there is no change or the infection and pain increases, it is better seek professional help. Many professionals such as podiatrists, pediatricians, dermatologists and other physicians engage in ingrown toe nail treatment.
If mild, the doctor will use conservative methods such as soaks, dental floss and give you some antibiotics as well.
Advanced cases will involve ingrown toenail removal surgery. The doctor numbs the toe with anesthesia before trimming the ingrown portion. On the other hand, recurrent conditions are treated by removing both the toenail and the nail bed to prevent further growth. This can be done by laser or by using a chemical and is commonly known as Matricectomy.
With excellent and urgent medical care, it only takes a short recovery period. The best way to avoid an ingrown toenail is to adopt a healthy lifestyle and ensuring to trim the toenails properly.