Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Handle 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. They are caused by improper nail cutting, tight shoes or hosiery, hereditary curved nail growth pattern or an injury to the nail. 

If you see puffiness, redness or pus, this is an infected ingrown toenail and requires a doctors attention. A ingrown toenail that is not infected can be worked on at home. Start by soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salts for about 10 minutes to soften the nail and the surrounding skin. Next, slide an orangewood stick under the nail to gently lift the nail from the skin.

ingrown toenail

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. Sometimes pulling the toenail out of the skin can leave a small injury in the skin. Apply some antibiotic ointment under the nail in the area where the ingrown nail was. 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. Change the piece of cotton daily after an Epsom Salt soak until it feels better. 

Don't cut the nail too short. Leave it a little long and keep the nail shaped straight across with sharp corners removed. Be sure to avoid tight shoes and hosiery, and do you best to protect to toes from injury.

Have a beautiful day!

1 comment :

  1. More advanced ingrown toenails require the attention of a health care professional. If the nail is not deeply ingrown, the edge of the nail can be lifted from the skin edge that it is irritating.