How To Relieve Painful Ingrown Toenails
You can usually treat ingrown toenails at home with Epsom salts, cotton and bandages, but if your toe becomes infected or the problem persists you’ll want to visit Urgent Medical Center for treatment.
An ingrown toenail (also known as onychocryptosis) is caused when the sides or corner of your toenail grow down into the surrounding skin. As a result, your skin swells up and becomes red and tender and can even produce a pus discharge. This condition typically impacts your big toe, but can happen to any toe.
Thankfully, it’s easy to treat ingrown toenails and shouldn’t leave any lasting damage. Worst-case scenario ingrown toenails may become infected, in which case you should visit urgent care for treatment.
Do You Have An Ingrown Toenail?
-The area surrounding the toe is swollen. Ingrown toenails generally cause some swelling.
-There’s pain when you apply pressure. You can identify the exact problem area by pushing around to see where the pain is centrally located.
-You may notice some puss near the site of the ingrown toenail.
-You may see the skin alongside the nail growing over the nail, or the nail may be visibly growing beneath the skin. As a result, it might be impossible to pinpoint the top corner of your nail.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
-Wearing shoes or socks that don’t fit well or are too tight can cause the nail to press into the skin until it actually grows into the skin.
-If you or a nail technician cuts your nail too short or with an improperly rounded edge it can cause the nail to grow into the skin as it grows out.
-Hurting your toe by stubbing it into something.
-Repetitive movements that directly impact the toe, such as kicking a soccer ball.
-Thick or curved toenails are more prone to ingrown toenails.
When To Visit Urgent Care For Ingrown Toenails
In most cases an ingrown toenail is a non-serious issue that can be treated at home. It can become more serious depending on the overall state of your health. If you have any condition that causes nerve damage, neuropathy or poor blood circulation, such as diabetes, it’s important to consult with a doctor as soon as possible. You should not try any at-home remedies beforehand.
If ingrown toenails are ignored for too long they will eventually develop an infection. If your foot appears infected or is only getting worse you should visit urgent care.
If the same ingrown toenail bothers you for 2-3 days even after you try relieving the pain on your own, you should visit a doctor.
At-Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails
For minor ingrown toenails in healthy individuals there are at-home remedies you can try before going to the doctor.
Soak Your Feet In Epsom Salt
Try soaking your feet in warm water infused with 1-cup Epsom salt. Soak your feet for around 15 minutes, 3-4 times per day. Epsom salts help reduce inflammation and pain, and they can also help clear out bacteria. During and after your soak, massage the affected area so that the salts have a chance to get inside and flush out bacteria.
Use Cotton or Floss To Lift The Nail Edge
After you soak your feet the toenail and skin will be soft and pliable. Take this time to use a piece of floss or cotton swab to lift the edge of the toenail so that it is pushed away from the skin it’s growing into. Repeat this process after every time you soak your feet, so a few times each day.
Avoid digging at the area too much or else you could create a nasty infection.
Apply Topical Antibiotic Cream
Purchase an over-the-counter antibiotic cream to apply over the affected area to help reduce your risk for developing an infection. Antibiotic creams are also packed with a topical anesthetic like lidocaine, which helps to temporarily decrease pain and discomfort.
Bandage The Toe
Secure some gauze around the toe to keep infections out and help it heal. Just don’t apply the bandage too tight or you could push the nail in farther.
Wear Loose Fitting Shoes
Avoid heels, tennis shoes or any sort of snug closed-toe shoe while you heal. Rely on loose shoes and sandals so that the toe has room to breathe and heal.
Helpful Homeopathic Remedies
Some alternative medicines that may help ingrown toenails include: Alumina, or Kali Carb, Phosphoric Acid, Thuja, Causticum, Natrum Mur, Nitric Acid, Graphites, Silicea Terra, Teucrium or Magnetis Polus Australis.
Take A Pain Reliever
If your toe is bothering you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help reduce swelling and discomfort. The most helpful tend to be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, aspirin or ibuprofen.
If pain from ingrown toenails persists visit Urgent Medical Center today for fast relief and treatment of any underlying infections.