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How to Treat Ingrown Toenail?

  • October 12, 2023
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How to Treat Ingrown Toenail?

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the adjacent skin, leading to pain, redness, and swelling. While this condition can impact any toenail, it is frequently seen on the big toe. The causes of ingrown toenails include improper nail trimming, wearing tight-fitting shoes, injury, or hereditary factors. This problem arises when the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin, often induced by incorrectly cutting toenails, particularly around the corners.

Why Do Ingrown Toenails Occur?

  1. Improper Nail Trimming: Cutting toenails too short or rounding them into a curve can encourage ingrowth.
  2. Tight-Fitting Shoes: Shoes that crowd the toes or put pressure on the nails increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
  3. Injury: Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing or dropping something on it, can lead to ingrown toenails.
  4. Genetic Predisposition: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to develop ingrown toenails.

How to Identify Ingrown Toenails:

  1. Pain and Tenderness: The affected toe may be painful and tender to the touch.
  2. Redness and Swelling: Inflammation, redness, and swelling around the toenail are common signs.
  3. Infection: If left untreated, ingrown toenails can become infected, leading to pus and drainage.

Treatment Solutions for Ingrown Toenails:

  1. Warm Soaks: Soaking the affected foot in warm, soapy water can help reduce pain and swelling.
  2. Proper Nail Trimming: Trim toenails straight across and avoid rounding the edges to prevent ingrowth.
  3. Cotton Wedge Placement: Placing a small piece of cotton under the ingrown edge can help lift it away from the skin.
  4. Antibiotic Ointment: Applying antibiotic ointment can prevent or treat infection.
  5. Wear Proper Footwear: Choose shoes that provide adequate toe room and avoid tight-fitting footwear.
  6. Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage pain and inflammation.

Benefits of Treating Ingrown Toenails:

  1. Pain Relief: Treatment provides relief from the pain associated with ingrown toenails.
  2. Prevention of Infection: Prompt care prevents infection and associated complications.
  3. Improved Comfort: Addressing ingrown toenails improves overall foot comfort and functionality.
  4. Prevention of Recurrence: Adopting proper nail care and footwear practices can prevent the recurrence of ingrown toenails.
  5. Avoidance of Complications: Timely treatment helps avoid complications such as infections and abscess formation.

How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails:

  1. Proper Nail Care: Trim toenails straight across, avoiding rounding at the edges.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes: Choose shoes that provide sufficient space for the toes.
  3. Avoid Trauma: Take precautions to prevent trauma to the toes.
  4. Regular Foot Inspection: Regularly inspect your feet for any signs of ingrown toenails.
  5. Maintain Healthy Feet: Keep feet clean and moisturized, and maintain overall foot health.

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