Having an ingrown toenail is not at all pleasurable and one who has it could tell that it is not easy to get rid of it too.
They are simply disgusting to look at and on top of that the pain and infection it causes makes it very troublesome and requires immediate attention.
In fact, the urge to just yank it off the foot is so overwhelming that it is quite hard to fight it off.
There is a rising trend in the videos involving popping a pimple, or removal of blackheads from the skin which is oddly satisfying for some people. Similarly, videos dealing with the subject of treating ingrown toenails are also becoming popular. However, these videos may not be accurately depicting the correct way to treat an ingrown toenail.
The most common reason for an ingrown toenail is cutting the nails too short or too close to the skin
Once they regrow they fold and grow towards the skin giving rise to an ingrown toenail. Other reason could be wearing tight shoes most of the time which also encourages toenails to grow inwards.
The prospect of having an ingrown toenail may sound unimportant or even minor issue but in most cases, it is often painful and in worst case scenario person may have trouble in walking normally.
It is also a fact that our most neglected part of the body is our feet and we often overlook the much-needed care and hygiene of this body part.
Also, the nature of nails in the foot is such that they often crack, turn yellow or in general more vulnerable to fungal or bacterial infections.
This problem often happens when the side of the nails grow into the soft flesh of the foot. It leads to the swelling of the toe, there is a visible redness and sometimes lead to infection.
The most vulnerable is the big toenail because it is often the thickest one and tends to be the most affected of tight shoes. Following are some effective remedies ranging from mild ingrown toenail to more severe cases.
Epsom salt soak
Soaking your feet in warm water once in a while is a good practice regardless of an ingrown toenail or not. It is good for maintaining the hygiene of the foot.
Also soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt is one of the first steps towards treating an ingrown toenail.
Epsom salts help reduce the swelling and soften the skin surrounding the nail and help pave way for further treatments. For a mild ingrown toenail, this treatment is ideal as it reduces the muscle pain as well.
Cotton ball method
The problem of ingrown toenails arises because the nails grow too close and into the skin hence it makes perfect sense to separate the two.
In this method, a small cotton ball is placed between the nail and the skin underneath to encourage the growth of nail away from the skin.
This is executed by lifting the nail a little and placing the cotton bud underneath. Just make sure the cotton is coated with antiseptics and remember to replace the dressing on regular basis.
Partial removal of the nail
In a more severe case of an ingrown toenail with signs like swelling, pus and redness your best treatment is to partially remove the nail.
Your doctor might help you decide on whether this treatment is feasible or not or if there is an easier alternative.
The procedure may require numbing of your toes with anesthetics before proceeding to remove the portion of nail that is ingrown.
Removing the portion of nail and underlying tissue
If you have this problem persistently occurring on the same toe, your best medical treatment recommended to you would be to remove that portion of the nail and the underlying nail bed or tissue.
This procedure may involve laser treatment, chemicals or other complex methods to prevent that portion of the nail from growing back. The doctor may also recommend some antibiotics depending on the infection if any on your toe.
Opt for comfortable footwear
As they say, prevention is better than cure, you should avoid the problem in the first place by wearing sensible footwear.
Since one of the major reasons for an ingrown toenail is overcrowded tight shoes go for something which is easier to wear and comfortable for your feet. In fact, go for sandals and footwear that is open for toes until your problem resolves.