How to Treat Ingrown Toenails at Home

Monday, 12 March 2018

If you've ever suffered from an ingrown toenail, you know how painful this seemingly trivial foot problem can be. Luckily, ingrown toenails can often be treated in the comfort of your own home, by simply showing them some love and care. This short article is here to explain why this condition even occurs, and how you can get rid of it in no time.

Why Do Ingrown Toenails Happen?

Ingrown toenails are more common than you probably imagine, so it's possible you've experienced this problem before without even realising it. An ingrown toenail can easily be recognised by the nail being curved and growing into the surrounding skin, which usually causes pain, redness and swelling of the toe. If this sounds familiar, you are most likely suffering from an ingrown toenail, but before we set out to solve the problem at home, let's try to figure our why this has happened in the first place.

When not treated properly, an ingrown toenail is bound to recur, so it is important to understand why this happens and how to get rid of it for good. The most common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Toenail trauma, most often stubbing your toe
  • Cutting your toenails too short or cutting the edges
  • Wearing shoes, socks or tights that are too tight
  • Sweaty feet (as softer skin is more vulnerable)
  • Genetics or the natural shape of the nail

Treating Ingrown Toenails at Home

Though severe forms of ingrown toenail can even result in surgery, the good news is that more often than not you can get rid of an ingrown toenail with natural home remedies. Here are some of the best tips for getting rid of your ingrown toenail:

  • Soak your feet in lukewarm water for 15 to 20 minutes, while gently massaging the affected skin area downward. This Beurer Massage Foot Bath with Pedicure Attachment is a great investment if you want to keep your feet relaxed and healthy even after you get rid of the ingrown toenail, ensuring it never happens again.

Relaxing Foot Bath

  • Trim the toenail straight across the tip without digging into the corners. Although it may seem logical to "dig" the ingrown nail out, this will in fact only worsen the situation. These Vitility Nail Clippers are ideal for cutting toenails, as their sharp blades will help you cut through the nail with ease, making sure the nail doesn't chip or split.

Person Clipping Toenails

  • Carefully roll back the overgrown skin at the affected nail border by slipping a small piece of cotton or dental floss to lift the edge up from the skin. If you want to get professional treatment without actually seeing a professional, this Blacks File Micro Head for easier removal of the debris, and these Ingrown Arrow Pointed Nippers are the perfect alternative to seeking out professional help.
  • Use a toe protector to protect the ingrown nail and speed up your recovery. The Silipos Full Gel Finger and Toe Caps are made from mineral oil gel that will cushion, moisturise and condition the skin.

Toe Protector

When is the Time to See a Doctor?

Ingrown toenails are classified into three categories, mild, moderate and severe. While mild to moderate cases can easily be treated at home, the most severe cases exhibit chronic inflammation and granulation. If the pain is spreading, or if your ingrown toenail is badly inflamed, bleeding or has pus coming from it, you are advised to check in with your GP or podiatrist (foot care specialist). It is also important to seek medical advice if you are suffering from diabetes, as having diabetes can affect how your toenail heals.

Prevent Ever Getting an Ingrown Toenail Again

Ingrown toenails are known to be a recurring problem, so even when you've already got rid of it, it is important to take the necessary precautions to make sure the problem is gone forever. Making sure your feet are always well taken care of should be the main guideline, not only for preventing ingrown toenails, but other common foot problems as well, such as bunions, blisters, foot odour, corns, calluses and general foot pain.

  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit properly, and make sure to change your socks regularly
  • Make sure your feet are always dry, especially between the toes, to prevent odour and infections
  • Often remember to remove hard skin with a pumice stone or foot file and apply moisturising cream
  • Trim your toenails using proper nail clippers straight across, never down the edges

Healthy Feet

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