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How to Handle an Ingrown Toenail

What is an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be very painful. The sides of the nail curl and grow into the skin. They are especially common on the big toenails but can occur on any toenail.

What causes an ingrown toenail? 

Ingrown toenails can be caused by a number of things.

Improper nail cutting, tight shoes or hosiery, a hereditary tendency, a curved nail growth pattern, a fungal infection, or an injury to the nail can all cause an ingrown nail. 

Signs of an Infected Ingrown Toenail

If you see puffiness, redness or pus, this is an infected ingrown toenail and requires a doctors attention. 

An ingrown toenail that is not infected can be worked on at home. 

How to Treat An Ingrown Toenail

Start by soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salts for about 10 minutes to soften the nail and the surrounding skin.

Lift the Nail
Next, slide an orangewood stick under the nail to gently lift the nail from the skin.

Sometimes pulling the toenail out of the skin can leave a small injury in the skin wear the nail was imbedded the skin. 

Apply some antibiotic ointment under the nail in the area where the ingrown nail was. 
ingrown toenail

Remove the Corner
Clip or file the sharp point off of the corner of the nail that digs into the skin but do not shape the nail into an oval. 

Roll a small piece of cotton in a tight roll about 1/4" long and press it under the area where the nail was ingrown. This will help lift up the nail and relieve pain. Change the piece of cotton daily after an Epsom Salt soak until it feels better. 

Tips to prevent an Ingrown Toenail

Get the right nail length
Don't cut the nail too short. A little length on the nail helps prevent the edge of the nail from growing into the skin.

Cut the nail straight
Cut the nail straight across. Keep the nail shaped straight across leaving the sides of the nail straight. You can remove sharp corners. Filing the sides of the nail into an oval will enable the nail to grow into the skin.
No tight shoes
Be sure to avoid tight shoes and hosiery that press and squeeze the nails. 

Walk Carefully
Be careful and try not to stub your toes or walk into furniture since an injury can encourage an ingrown nail.

Treat Fungal Infections ASAP
See a pediatrist and use an anti fungal treatment at the first sign of a fungal infection.

I hope this post has given you a few pointers to help you treat and prevent painful ingrown toenail.

Have a Pretty Feet Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

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