In case you have had an ingrown toenail, then you are familiar with the pain that it can trigger. It can be quite annoying as you use your toes as part of your everyday movement. This use and persistent knocking can aggravate your nail even more.
Onychocryptosis, or an ingrown toenail, is among the most common toenail issues you can suffer from. It’s a painful condition and occurs at any age.
An ingrown toenail is a common health issue in which the side or corner of a toenail starts growing into soft flesh. Multiple behavioral and anatomic factors are believed to lead to an ingrown toenail, including hyperhidrosis, genetic predisposition, inadvertent or repetitive trauma, poor hygiene, and inadequate trimming.
In addition, there are 3 types of ingrown toenails, like severe, moderate, and mild. Mild cases are actually characterized by nail-fold pain, swelling, edema, and erythema. Moderate cases are characterized by nail-fold ulceration, infection, drainage, and swelling. Severe cases are characterized by marked nail-fold hypertrophy, and chronic granulation and inflammation.
No matter what type of ingrown nail you are suffering from, you’ll experience swelling, redness, pain, and even an infection. An ingrown toenail often affects the big toe, but other toes may be affected, as well. Usually, it can disappear on its own. But, in case the pain is spreading or severe, you should consult a doctor to alleviate your discomfort as well as help reduce the risk of further complications.
Here Are the Symptoms and Culprits of an Ingrown Toenail:
You may suffer from an ingrown toenail, in case you have these symptoms:
– Redness around your toenail
– Infection of the tissue around your toenail
– Swelling of your toe around your nail
– Tenderness and pain in your toe along one or both sides of your nail
The most common culprits of ingrown toenails include wearing tight shoes or high heels, an inadequate nail-cutting technique, pressure from abutting digits triggered by hallux valgusor, trauma, lesser toe deformities, thickening of the nail plate, subungual exostosis presence, a pincer-shaped toenail, and isotretinoin use in severe acne treatment.
But, toenail fungus can also become part of the issue. It can occur when fungus enters the nail via a small trauma, like a break or cut, in the nail. Although nail fungus isn’t triggered by poor hygiene, you should keep the area of your ingrown toenail clean.
Fortunately, there’re a great number of simple methods to get rid of an ingrown toenail without having to visit your doctor.
How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail Naturally:If you suffer from a mild case of ingrown toenail, you can use a natural way to remove it without having to opt for surgery.
– Wash or Soak Your Foot
If you soak your foot in soapy, warm water, it may help keep the affected area bacteria-free and clean. You need to soak your foot in some warm water about 4 times on a daily basis. Also, you may want to add some Epsom salt in order to soften your affected area’s skin and make it easier to draw out your toenail from your skin.
– Use Castile Soap to Wash It
In case you aren’t satisfied with the results of the previous method, you may want to wash your foot with water and soap 2 times on a daily basis. You can use Castile soap because of its pure and natural ingredients. You should keep your foot dry and clean.
– Use ACV to Wash It
ACV (apple cider vinegar) is also beneficial for treating this health problem. Add 1/4 cup of ACV to warm water and then soak your foot in the solution. Or you can dilute some ACV with some purified water and apply it directly to the affected area. Although applying diluted ACV to the affected area can prevent infection, it might not treat an existing bacterial infection.
– Place Dental Floss or Cotton Wisps under Your Nail
In case you place either dental floss or cotton wisp under the edge of your ingrown nail, it may help shift your nail grow in the right direction rather than down into your skin. You should also lift up the side of your nail that digs in to your skin. You should take a bit of gauze or cotton, and then roll it between your fingers to create a small wick or roll. Next, you need to place the small piece of gauze or cotton between your skin and nail.
You should use dental floss for a much gentler way. However, ensure that it isn’t a flavored variety, because it can contribute to a burning sensation.
You may also want to push the roll a bit farther in after each soaking. You should change it out daily. It can take 1-2 weeks for your nail to grow out. Therefore, you must be patient. Also, sometimes you must carefully cut your nail to get underneath it.
– Avoid Wearing Tight Shoes and High Heels
You should avoid wearing tight shoes and high heels in order to get rid of your ingrown toenail fast. Otherwise it may cause more pain and a great delay in healing. Sandals are useful and allow your nail to heal properly.
– Lower Pain and Inflammation by Using Essential Oils
You may want to make homemade essential oil mix by mixing tea tree oil (melaleuca), rosemary, lavender, clove, and cyprus with a carrier oil (coconut oil.) Mix well and massage onto the ingrown toenail.
DIY Ingrown Toenail Ointment Recipe
You can prepare homemade ointment to help get rid of your ingrown toenail. As we have already mentioned, essential oils may help prevent infection and alleviate pain. You should apply this homemade ointment directly on the affected area to alleviate pain and promote healing.
- 2 oz. of coconut oil
- 2 oz. of aloe vera gel
- 2 drops of peppermint oil
- 5 drops of lavender oil
- 1 drop of oregano oil
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 5 drops of eucalyptus oil
Transfer the ingredients into a small glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Stir with a small spoon until you get a homogenous mixture.
Carefully cleanse and rinse off your toe and then apply this homemade ointment on the affected area.
Let it air dry. In case it isn’t possible, loosely and carefully bandage your toe. However, wear loose-fitting shoes.
You should redress the affected area 2-3 times on a daily basis. You should wash your hands after and avoid your eyes, particularly when you use oregano oil to prevent a burning sensation.
Here Is How to Cut Your Ingrown Toenail Properly:You may find cutting your ingrown toenail hard. That’s why you should be careful in case you want to do it at home.
Soak your foot in a solution of warm water and Castile soap or Epsom salt for around twenty minutes to decrease swelling, as well as soften your skin and toenail.
Then, carefully try to push back your swollen skin with clean fingers. It can be quite uncomfortable. Do not force it back more than it allows.
Afterwards, cut your nail straight across. Begin with your toenail’s edges. This means that you should cut it from the corners.
Next, you should place a bit of cotton between your skin and ingrown nail. It can prevent your ingrown toenail from coming back and allow it to grow properly.
You should also apply the ointment (mentioned above) to the affected area, and then use a bandage to secure it in place.
You should also change the cotton each day in order to reduce the risk of an infection.
In order to accelerate the healing process, don’t wear shoes and socks while you are at home. You can wear flip-flops or any shoes that avoid dirt but allow open air.