Common causes of ingrown toenails include toenail trauma such as stubbing your toe, wearing shoes that are too tight, cutting toenails too short or cutting toenails at an angle.
People suffering from diabetes or other health problems that cause poor blood circulation to the feet are at a higher risk of developing this painful nail problem. Some symptoms include persistent pain, redness, and swelling. If left untreated, onychocryptosis can soon lead to infection.
To prevent infection, it’s important to treat ingrown toenails as soon as they occur. Mild cases may require minor treatment with home remedies. Serious cases may need surgical intervention.
The following five methods are extremely effective and you will soon feel great relief:
Tea tree oil
The antiseptic nature of tea tree oil can help relieve pain and reduce the risk of infection due to an ingrown toenail. All you need to do is to apply a few drops of it on the affected area.
Apple cider vinegar foot soak
Vinegar is an effective method in the case of an ingrown toenail. You should simply dilute a quarter cup of it in some warm water, and soak your feet in it to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Also, it can prevent an infection if you apply it directly on the wound, as its potent antibacterial properties clean the area. Yet, it cannot fight an existing bacterial infection.
Epsom salt bath
Epsom salt, scientifically known as magnesium sulfate, is effective for treating ingrown toenails. It helps soften the skin around the affected area, which makes it easy to draw out the ingrown nail. It also helps bring down the inflammation. Just soak your feet in your regular Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes.
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant that helps reduce the risk of infection and relieve pain and inflammation caused by an ingrown toenail. Just mix 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide in a small tub of warm water and soak the affected toenail in this solution for 20 minutes.
Floss and cotton ball
You can use a cotton ball or flow to relieve the pressure between the nail and the painful toe. Lift the nail with tweezers (or dental floss wrapped around the nail) to carefully place a sterile cotton ball underneath, and ensure the nail is comfortable above it.
- Do not wear socks and shoes while at home. This will allow the affected toenail to get exposed to fresh air to promote fast healing.
- Give the affected toe some rest to aid healing.
- Except when soaking, keep your feet dry as much as possible.
- Take care of your feet properly and trim your nails straight across regularly to prevent such problems.
- Maintain proper foot hygiene by washing your feet regularly and drying them thoroughly.
- Always wear comfortable and properly fitting footwear.
- Wear only cotton socks and change them daily.
- Inspect the affected toe carefully for signs of infection, such as redness, increased pain, swelling and drainage of pus.
- If an ingrown toenail persists for a couple of weeks or shows signs of infection, consult a doctor to avoid any complications.