In this article, we will explain what ingrown toenails are, why they happen, and some natural remedies that will help you treat them at home.
What Are Ingrown Toenails?
When you notice that the skin around the edges of the nail gets red, and even gets infected, you may have a nail that has gotten embedded in the skin around it. It’s more common to happen to the big toe, but in reality it can happen to any toe.
Next we will go over why this happens.
Why Does this Happen?
There is no single cause of ingrown toenails. The most common reasons are the following:
- Shoes that don’t fit, that are too fight or don’t stretch well, especially if you play sports or do activities that make you move or be on your feet often.
- Nails that have not been trimmed properly.
- Physical foot issues, like deformations or special shapes in the toe, which cause additional pressure on the other toes. You have to keep in mind that some people, because of genetics, are born with curved toenails, that are too big, or that tend to grow downwards. That is why there are people that often suffer from this problem despite wearing proper shoes and paying close attention to how their nails are cut.
When to Go to the Doctor
Although we will recommend you a homemade and natural treatment below, people that suffer from diabetes, foot, ankles, or leg injuries, or poor circulation in the feet should first see a doctor, podiatrist, or dermatologist. You should also go when you notice that there is pus underneath the inflammation, because infections should be treated as soon as possible.
Lastly, if you get ingrown toenails often and you have not found the cause, a doctor will also help solve this annoying problem.
This is a homemade, simple, and natural treatment for ingrown nails:
- Submerge the affected toe in hot water a few times throughout the day, at least three times a day. Put it in there for a couple of minutes and then dry your foot well.
- Gently massage the affected area, with the help of a little bit of olive or almond oil. If you tend to get infections, you can also add a group of essential tea tree oil, because it has antibiotic properties.
- Take a cotton ball or dental floss, moisten it, and try to put it underneath the nail patiently.
- When you notice that the area has softened after doing this process a few times, repeat the same steps and cut the nail carefully, with completely clean and sharp nail clippers.
- Cut the nail straight, giving it a square shape and not cutting it too much. Avoid the areas that are most ingrown, so that they slowly get better.
The technique above can be more effective if instead of using only water, use thyme infusion.
Thyme is a medicinal plant with many benefits. Among them, it helps fight inflammation, infections, and soothe pain, which is why it is a great remedy to treat ingrown nails.
Make an infusion with a cup of water and two tablespoons of thyme. Boil it for five minutes and let stand for another five. Use this infusion as we mentioned in the point above.
Lemon and Salt Remedy
If the above technique did not work, you can also try a very effective and economic old remedy, because you will only need half a lemon and a little bit of salt. Make a whole in the middle of the half a lemon, add a little bit of sea salt and put it on the affected toe. Leave it on there for 20 minutes and do this everyday until the toe is cured.
The lemon as well as salt also act as disinfectants and inflammation reducers.
Images courtesy of mattsabo17 and devillibrarian