Ingrown toenails are a common problem which mostly affects the great toenail. It is caused by the sideways growth of the nail edge which enters the skin of the toe. Since it is penetrating into the surrounding skin, it causes discomfort.
Symptoms of ingrown toenails are sore, painful, nail folds with certain degrees of redness, swelling and at times yellow drainage. At times they are resolved without any treatment, but complicated cases require a treatment from the physician.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Your nail starts to grow sideways which causes your skin to break because of which there is an infection. Later there is inflammation due to this problem and it causes thickening of the nail skin fold. Since the nail is pushing into the skin, it causes a lot of pain.
What Causes Infection in Ingrown Toenails?
Since your nail has entered your skin, the inner side of the skin is exposed. There is a high possibility of getting bacteria or fungus in this region. The moist and warm environment provided to the foot breeds such infections. This can later cause deeper bacterial tissue infection and scar your nail fold along with the skin.
How to Treat Ingrown Toenails at Home?
Start off by using warm soaks for up to 10 minutes. Keep doing this for at least three times in a day. You may use white vinegar or Clorox for soaking the cloth.
Now elevate your leg.
Once the skin is fully soaked and softened, roll back the piece of overgrown skin.
Slip a thin wisp of cotton right under the nail which is penetrating your skin.
Cut the small part of the toenail which comes out of your skin after the piece of cotton slides underneath it.
When to Visit a Physician?
At times ingrown toenails are so painful that you can’t even walk. If you have been trying to fix your ingrown toenail at home and it has not helped you in any way, you should probably go see a physician. In this case you will always notice a yellow drainage.
Should You Get a Surgery for Ingrown Toenails?
Yes, at times the case is so severe that cutting past your skin is the only option left for the physician. However, you don’t always have to get surgery in the case of ingrown toenails. In fact, mostly surgery is not required.
How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails from Recurring?
You can prevent ingrown toenails from recurring by wearing wider-toe shoes and by avoiding injuries to your toenails. You should also protect your toes during sports.