Swelling, infection, pain or pus may have caused you to notice that you have an ingrown toenail. The affected nail is most likely on your big toe. Either way, it may have been caused by one or more of the following 10 activities or conditions:
– stubbing your toe
– wearing shoes that are too tight
– cutting your toenails too short or at an angle
– an injury
– a deformed nail or foot
– a fungal infection
– unusually curved toenails
– poor hygiene
– obesity, diabetes or other health issues
Put your ingrown toenail into more comfortable shoes. Wear open-toed shoes or sandals. Go barefoot if possible, whenever letting your feet get some air is safe and feasible.
Also, consider implementing one or more of these additional solutions:
- Soak your foot in warm water a few times a day. Or wash the toe more than once a day, but dry thoroughly to minimize exposing any bacteria to moisture.
- Soak your foot in a combination of cool to warm water and Epsom salt. Don’t use hot water because it will cause the area around your toenail to swell. Do this two or three times per day for at least 15 minutes. This also will soften the ingrown toenail and prevent it from becoming infected.
- Give yourself a foot massage to ease pain and reduce swelling. Use lotion to soften the skin around the nail, and push the skin away from the nail to help prevent the nail from growing into the skin.
- Trim your toenails straight across, and keep them that way.
- Soften the toenail in water and raise it to steer it to grow the right way. Gingerly and smoothly move a flat thin item such as a nail file beneath the border of the nail to lift it. Twist a small piece of cotton gauze to tighten it, then slip it beneath the nail without pushing it into the toe. Repeat this process with a new piece of gauze when the last one becomes soaked. Repeat, forcing the nail further back each time. This will help the nail grow flatter.
- Soak your foot for 20 minutes in water with 1/2 cup of peroxide or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help keep the germs down.
- Replace tight-fitting shoes with shoes that put less pressure on your big toe.
- Use an over-the-counter pain reliever for three days. Call your podiatrist if the pain persists after that.
An ingrown toenail not addressed immediately and correctly may return more than once. Fortunately, things mentioned here can help avoid recurrences. Remember to establish the habit of trimming your toenails, but not too short. And cut them straight across, instead of on an angle. Finally, create a habit of generally and conscientiously protecting your toenails, whenever possible. Contact Dr. Pozarny at Arlington Podiatry if the pain on your toenail persist.