“Ingrown toenail” is the most common term used to refer to a nail condition called onychocryptosis. This problem tends to being very painful and quite unpleasant, and mainly affects the big toenail, causing swelling and, in most cases, infection.
It is very important to properly treat ingrown toenails so that they don’t turn into a more serious problem. That’s why we’ve put together the following article detailing the entire treatment process for ingrown nails, as well as a few tips to alleviate the pain caused by this problem.
Steps to treat an ingrown toenail
- First of all, you should look for a large recipient in which you can soak your feet in hot water for about 15 or 20 minutes. This part of the treatment is aimed at alleviating pain and, above all, preventing possible infection in the affected area. You can use a bit of anti-bacterial soap for better results.
- After about 20 minutes has gone by, dry off your feet and slide a string of floss under the nail. You should perform this treatment on a regular basis, and also make sure to change the floss each day so that the nail can grow above the skin.
- Cut your nails with a straight nail clipper and file them to a square shape without any kind of border. Try not to cut your nails in a round shape, because this increases your risk of ingrown toenails.
- Use a local antibiotic for immediate pain relief. You can get gels, creams and similar ointments at the drug store.
- As you continue treating your ingrown nail, you should do your best to use open footwear that doesn’t rub against the affected area causing greater damage. Avoid using tights or closed shoes.
Homemade remedies for alleviating ingrown toenails
In addition to the previous steps for curing ingrown toenails, you can also consider trying some of the following home remedies that should help you speed up the recovery process.
- Onion juice
Squeeze the juice from one onion and apply it directly to the injured toenail. Let the juice dry on the nail, and perform this treatment on a regular basis for best results.
Prepare a saltwater solution and apply it directly to the affected area every night before bed. Wrap your toe after applying the remedy and let it set until the next day.
Rub a lemon slice directly on the affected area and use a wrap or some gauze to attach it to the nail for a few hours.
Garlic is known to be a very powerful natural antibiotic which can help you fight off infection (in this case, under the nail) and reduce the swelling caused by ingrown toenails. Smash a bit of garlic and apply it directly to the affected area.
- Tea tree oil
This essential oil acts as a natural antibiotic, which can help you fight off infection. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil directly to the affected area.
Wash and mash one carrot until a paste is formed, and then apply it directly to the affected area. Cover with a wrap and let it set for a few hours. Repeat this remedy twice per day.
- If the pain is unbearable, you should see a doctor to prescribe a painkiller.
- If you suffer from diabetes, you should make sure to have a doctor supervise any treatment involving an ingrown toenail.
- When you’re at home, try to walk around barefoot. This will allow your nail to get plenty of air circulation, which will keep bacteria from growing in the affected area. Keep in mind that bacteria reproduce more quickly in hot, humid environments, so try to avoid closed shoes at all costs.
- Try not to use high heel shoes or any kind of uncomfortable footwear. Looking great in an elegant pair of shoes won’t do you any good if it means suffering intense pain once you get home. You should never force your feet into a tight, painful shoe.
- Remember that nail hygiene is crucial to preventing ingrown toenails. It’s important to check the state of your nails on a regular basis, cleaning and cutting them correctly. Follow the above-mentioned tips to keep this problem from occurring again.