Tips for Dealing With Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when a toenail digs into the surrounding skin causing pain, inflammation and swelling. It’s a common occurrence but can be very painful for the individual dealing with it. The usual cause is a toenail that is cut too short and curved at the corners, or shoes that are too tight. Instead of growing out straight, the toenail curves inward cutting into the skin. Fortunately, ingrown toenails can be easily treated and prevented.
Soak the affected foot in warm salt water several times a day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Soaking the foot will reduce swelling and relieve tenderness.
Wash the affected area at least twice a day with soap and water. Keep the foot clean and dry the rest of the day. This will help prevent an infection from developing.
Lift the corner of the nail away from the affected area using a wad of cotton or gauze. Keeping the nail elevated and away from the tender skin will help it to grow above the skin’s edge. This is the most painful part of treatment, but also the most necessary.
Apply antibiotic ointment and bandage the tender area on a daily basis. This will help keep the foot clean of dirt or debris and prevent infection.
Wear sensible footwear. If possible, choose sandals or open-toe shoes. They will be more comfortable and cause less pain for the foot.
Take a pain reliever when necessary. It will help dull the pain and make it more bearable until the toe heals itself.