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How to cure an ingrown toenail

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The onicocriptosis , condition colloquially known as ingrown toenail occurs when a fingernail foot usually does not grow properly and edges enter the skin, resulting in pain result, redness and swelling. It is important to go to the podiatrist when the first symptoms are noticed to prevent the condition from worsening and leading to a severe infection or other complications. Likewise, to promote healing and prevent the nail from growing back burying itself under the skin, a series of measures should be taken into account in terms of hygiene and nail cutting and the type of footwear used. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail how to heal an ingrown toenail effectively.

Causes and symptoms of an ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail is a nail whose sides or edges are introduced into the skin, causing pain, inflammation and redness in the area and even, in some cases, an infection. This is usually more common in the big toe and can be caused by the following factors:

  • Cutting the toenails incorrectly, leaving them too short or with rounded edges, which makes it difficult for them to grow and favors the nails to grow by curling down and burying under the skin.
  • Having too thick or curved nails.
  • Make use of inappropriate footwear, especially shoes that are very narrow at the front or that end in a point, as they compress the toenails. Shoes smaller than the foot can also cause ingrown toenails as they hit directly on the toenails.
  • Hurt or injure your toenail.
  • Suffering from hereditary nail malformations.
  • Picking or tearing at the edges of the nails.

The most common ingrown toenail symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain and tenderness in the toe when touching the edges of the affected nail or when walking.
  • Redness around the ingrown toenail.
  • Swelling: the flesh on the edge of the big toe where the nail is stuck thickens.
  • In the event that the ingrown toenail becomes infected, an abscess may appear and there may be suppuration.
  • Tissue growth above the nail.

Treatment of the ingrown toenail by the podiatrist

To heal an ingrown toenail, it is important to go to the podiatrist , the specialist in this type of nail problems, when the first symptoms of pain, inflammation and redness appear to avoid complicating it and causing an infection. In addition, it is advisable to go to the podiatrist urgently in case of intense pain in the toe, there are signs of infection or if you have diabetes or another disease that causes poor blood circulation in the feet.

The treatment of an ingrown toenail on the foot by the podiatrist consists of the following:

  1. The affected toe area is disinfected.
  2. The nail is disembodied using special pliers and / or a scalpel to remove the spicule or section of ingrown toenail. If there is infection, swelling of the skin, or excess sensitivity, this procedure can be done under local anesthesia.
  3. The area is cured by applying an antibiotic ointment for ingrown toenail. In some cases of infection, oral antibiotics may be necessary before and / or after foot treatment.
  4. A tubular bandage is placed.

After this treatment, it is important to follow all the instructions that the podiatrist indicates to promote the healing of the ingrown toenail and prevent the condition from reappearing. They may recommend the application of topical antibiotics, foot baths, and other measures that help correct nail growth and prevent ingrown toenails, such as resin nail reconstruction, use of de-curving devices the nail, placement of artificial nails, among others.

Ingrown toenail operation: when is it necessary?

The ingrown toenail operation may be necessary in those cases where the condition reappears after treatment or is very repetitive. Surgical intervention is ambulatory and is usually performed under local anesthesia. There are various surgical techniques, but one of the most effective is the chemical matricectomy with which the edge or side of the affected nail is removed and it is prevented from growing back. After the intervention, the nail is usually left with a good aesthetic appearance.

The patient will be able to go home the same day after the operation and it is likely that the specialist will tell him that he should change the bandage 1 or 2 times a day and that before doing so, immerse the foot in warm water to prevent the bandage from becoming stick to the wound and can be removed more easily.

Tips to cure an ingrown toenail at home

Only in those cases where onychocryptosis is very mild and in an early stage, an ingrown toenail can be cured at home. To do this, the measures and recommendations to follow are those shown below:

  • Soak your feet in warm water 3-4 times a day for approximately 15-20 minutes. This helps reduce swelling and relieve discomfort and redness.
  • Place a very small piece of cotton or dental floss , previously wet with water or antiseptic, under the nail to prevent it from continuing to grow under the skin.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected toe area and bandage the toe.
  • It is important to wear comfortable shoes and preferably open until the toe recovers.
  • For pain and discomfort in the area, taking an over -the-counter pain reliever can help find relief.

If these cares and treatments are carried out at home, but they do not work, it is important to go to the podiatrist as soon as possible to heal the ingrown toenail properly and avoid possible complications.

Some natural remedies can help alleviate the symptoms caused by an ingrown toenail, we show the most effective in the article Home remedies to heal a nail .

Cut your nails properly to avoid an ingrown toenail

To avoid ingrown toenails, it is important to make a good cut and fix them. To cut your nails properly , the following should be done:

  • Soak your feet in warm water to soften your nails.
  • Use a nail clipper that is very clean and sharp. Avoid using scissors.
  • Cut the nails straight along the tip and never trim or round the edges.
  • Make sure that the nails are not excessively short.
  • In case the nail is already ingrown, do not try to trim the part buried under the skin.

Other tips that can be taken into account to prevent ingrown toenails are:

  • Wear wide footwear that does not compress the feet from the front and that is our size, avoiding that it is too small or too large.
  • Wear protective footwear in jobs that require it.
  • Always keep your nails well cut and groomed to avoid trauma to them.
  • Take care of the hygiene of the feet and nails and keep them always clean and dry.
  • Do not pick or tear the nails with your fingers.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to cure an ingrown toenail , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

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