An ingrown toenail is a common condition which takes place when the skin of the toe will grow over the edges of the toenail. This results to swelling, redness and pain. As indicated by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, any of the toenails can be affected with ingrown. However, the condition most commonly affects the big toe. Some of the common causes of ingrown toenails are wearing of shoes that are tight, toe injury, unusually curved toenails and toenails are trimmed too short.
1) Soak the foot in warm water for about fifteen to twenty minutes. This is to be done three to four times in a day in order to reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.
2) Place in a piece of cotton or wax dental floss in between the skin and the ingrown toenail after soaking the foot. Eventually, this will help the toenail to grow over the edge of the skin.
3) The affected toe must be applied with a topical antibiotic ointment and then apply bandage on the area.
4) Until the condition clears up, opt for sandals or shoes with open toes. If you cannot wear sandals, try wearing shoes which have a sufficient amount of space for the toes.
5) For pain relief, try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
6) Keep an eye for improvements in your symptoms. If within two to three days, there are no improvements or the condition becomes worse, notify your doctor at once. In case the symptoms are more severe, the doctor may probably trim or take off the edge of the ingrown toenail in order to relieve the swelling, pus and redness. For recurrent ingrown toenail, removal of the nail and tissue can be considered so that the portion of the nail will not grow back.
Make sure to cut the toenails right straight across. To encourage the growth of toenail into the skin, taper the corners of the nails in order to match the shape of the toe. Ensure that when you trim your toenails, they are even with the tips of your toes. Pressure coming from the shoes will make your nails grow into the tissue especially if the toenails are cut very short.
Avoid wearing shoes which are too short. Shoes with a short toe can put pressure on the toenails and this will encourage the nails to grow into the skin. In case your job places you at risk of toe injury, make sure to wear protective footwear all the time. Injuries that will make the toenails fall off will result to ingrown toenail since the new nails have a greater chance to become ingrown.
You need to visit a doctor or a podiatrist in case there is an infection. You can avail of the very simple and quick surgical procedure which can be performed in the clinic to take out only part or the entire nail. The infection can be drained and when necessary, antibiotics can be prescribed. The method itself is not painful since an anesthetic will be used to numb the toe. Following surgery, the foot should be soaked on a daily basis for several days. Make sure to keep it clean and dry at all times. Ointment and clean bandages can be applied. Usually, pain is managed by taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen although; the doctor could prescribe you of something else.