An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis, is caused by the nail edge growing into the skin of the toe.
This is most often caused by trimming your nails in a rounded fashion, making it so once they grow back they do so into the skin of your toe.
Once the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it normally produces inflammation, discomfort, and potentially an infection if it is not cared for properly.
Initially presented as a minor discomfort, an ingrown toenail may progress into an infection, become a bone disorder, and/or become a recurring problem.
If you trim your toenails too short around the sides of your toes, you are actually increasing the chances of an ingrown toenail developing.
Like many people, when you trim your toenails, you may taper the corners so that the nail curves with the shape of your toe. But, this technique may encourage your toenail to grow into the skin of your toe if done too severely. When this occurs, the sides of the nail will begin to curl down and dig into your skin.
3 Easy Ways to Control and Treat Ingrown Toenails Yourself
Also available at our location by a medical staff: Ingrown Toenail Treatment
One of the fastest and easiest ways to treat a case of an ingrown toenail is to soak the affected toe in an Epsom salt solution. The best way to do this is to put the toe in water while rubbing the Epsom salt into the affected area. The Epsom salt will absorb into the skin and help to soften and dissolve portions of the nail that has become embedded in the skin. Epsom salt is especially good at reducing pain and inflammation that is present in the area as well.
Soaking your feet in warm water helps to further soften the nail that is causing the pain to your toe. When the nail is softer, the pain lessens and the chances of removing the affected portions of the nail increase dramatically. After soaking your feet for about 20-30 minutes in warm water, try to remove the troublesome portion of the nail with tweezers.
Using cotton and dental floss is an easier way to remove portions of the nail that may have grown deep into the skin. After you have soaked your feet and used Epsom salt as well, place cotton around the affected area. Once this is done, you can use the dental floss to pull out portions of the nail by flossing it out. Be sure to be gentle and not to harsh on the skin, as this is a sensitive area.
If you believe your toe has become infected, if you have poor circulation, or if you have nerve damage, then it is recommended that you visit a foot care specialist before the infection spreads and potentially develops into something much worse.
How To Prevent Ingrown Toenail
Unless the problem is congenital, the best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to protect the feet from any severe trauma and to wear shoes and socks that fit properly and provide adequate room for the toes. Nails should be cut straight across with a clean, sharp nail trimmer.
When you trim the nails, be sure to do this without tapering or rounding the corners, as the nails will grow directly into the skin if this is done.
Trim the nails no shorter than the edge of the to, and try to keep your feet clean and dry whenever possible.
By following our guidelines, you can lower your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, do not hesitate to call our friendly and knowledgeable staff to schedule an ingrown toenail treatment at our Garland TX location.