If you notice that the corners or the edges of your nails have grown in the skin adjacent to the nail, then you have ingrown toenails. In most cases, an ingrown toenail develops in the big toe. The good thing is that you can treat an ingrown toenail at home. However, in case of any complications, you should not hesitate to seek medical treatment. People with diabetes plus other severe health conditions are more prone to ingrown toenails complications.
What is the Cause of Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails affect both genders. The National Health Services (NHS) pointed out that individuals with moist feet including teenagers are likely to develop ingrown toenails. Older people can also develop ingrown toenails since they thicken as they advance in age. Below are some causes of an ingrown toenail;
- Cutting toenails the wrong way; toenails should be cut straight across. That’s because angling the sides of your nail causes the nail to develop into the skin.
- Irregular and curved toenails
- Wearing shoes that put excessive pressure on your big toes.
- Toenail injury; a toenail injury can trigger the growth of ingrown toenails. Injuries can arise if you stub your toe, drop heavy items on your toes, or repeatedly kick a ball.
- Poor posture
- Failure to observe foot hygiene, including failing to dry your feet properly.
- Genetic predisposition.
Also, athletes develop ingrown toenails for extensively using their feet to play. That’s an activity that puts pressure on their feet for a prolonged period, thereby damaging your toenail. Damaged toenails increase the chances of developing ingrown toenails. Below are activities that can cause you to develop such a condition;
What are the Indicators of ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails can be treated, but they are quite painful. Let’s look at early symptoms of ingrown toenails. They include;
- Having tender and swollen skin adjacent to your toes
- Feeling pain once the pressure is applied on either or both of your big toes
- Fluid build-up around your toes
The latter symptoms of the condition in question are;
- Red and swollen skin
- Oozing skin
- Pain and overgrowth of skin next to your toe
Once you notice the early symptoms, treat the condition immediately. But if you are already seeing advanced symptoms such as bleeding, seek help from a health expert right away.
How to Treat Ingrown Toenails?
If the condition of your ingrown toenails has not advanced, then it can be treated at home. But severe conditions should be treated in the hospital. If the condition is left untreated, you’ll develop an infection. Signs such as swelling and redness, pus, and warmth are signs of an infection. Let’s look at how to treat the condition at home;
- Warm some water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this four times a day.
- Try to push the skin further from the edge of your toenail using cotton that has been submerged in olive oil.
- Buy over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen to relieve pain.
- Apply a topical antibiotic like neomycin or polymyxin.
You should carry out home treatment for a few days or weeks. If the pain persists making it hard to walk or even perform daily activities, consult your doctor. That’s because stubborn ingrown toenails that fail to improve after home treatment may need surgery.