Do you wish you could get relief from the excruciating agony and discomfort caused by an ingrown nail? Stop letting this common problem dampen your spirits. We’ll discuss ingrown nails in depth, from their causes to the best ways to cure and prevent them.
What is an ingrown nail?
Commonly known as “ingrown nails,” this problem happens when the nail’s edge grows into the skin instead of outward over it. Usually, the big toe is affected, however, it can happen to any of the toes. A little soreness or sensitivity at first is normal, but if you ignore it, it can turn into a severe and inflammatory condition very rapidly.
Most cases of ingrown nails can be traced back to careless nail cutting. Nail beds can become infected if nails are cut too short or rounded at the edges. In addition, wearing tight shoes or socks, which puts pressure on the toes and causes the nails to be pushed inside, might exacerbate the problem.
Ingrown nails are extremely annoying and can be avoided by taking the proper precautions. Pain, redness, swelling, and perhaps an infection are all common signs of the condition worsening. The infection could cause your toenail to grow outward or pus to flow from the area around it.
To minimize further difficulties and suffering, it’s best to get professional treatment for an ingrown nail as soon as possible, even if temporary measures (such as bathing your feet in warm water) help. I say, then, that we investigate viable solutions to this bothersome issue.
Causes of ingrown nails
The discomfort caused by ingrown nails is well-deserved. And yet, what exactly triggers them? Let’s investigate this matter in greater detail.
Uneven nail length is a result of poorly trimmed nails. Ingrowth can occur when nails are cut too short or rounded off. Do yourself a favor and trim crosswise and not too short the next time you do a DIY pedicure.
Poorly fitting footwear is another possible cause. Nails can grow into the surrounding flesh if the toes are squished in tight shoes. Go for shoes that will allow your toes some room to move about.
It’s possible that ingrown nails are hereditary as well. You can be more vulnerable to this condition if any of your parents or siblings have had it.
Check for cuts and scrapes in the area around your nail bed. An ingrown toenail is more likely to occur if the nail’s growth is interrupted for any reason, such as when you stub your toe or drop anything heavy on it.
Diabetic or fungal nail infections, for example, might alter nail growth and increase the risk of ingrown nails.
Keep in mind the aforementioned risk factors for ingrown toenails so that you can take the necessary precautions.
Symptoms of an ingrown nail
Ingrown nails can cause a lot of discomfort, if not outright pain, depending on the severity of the infection. A common symptom is localized soreness. You may discover that the skin around your nail has enlarged, become red, and is painful to the touch.
One of the most obvious symptoms of an ingrown nail is pain. Particularly when walking or wearing constricting footwear, the pressure applied by the nail pressing into the skin can create intense or throbbing discomfort. Because of this pain, normal daily activities may become a chore.
It’s possible to get an infection from an ingrown nail. If you have an ingrown nail and you start to see pus or drainage coming from the region, coupled with increased redness and warmth, you should visit a doctor right away.
Alterations to your nail appearance may be another symptom of ingrown nails. It’s possible that the damaged toenail will take on an abnormally curled or twisted appearance.
As time passes, these symptoms may get more severe, therefore it’s important to not disregard them. Reducing the risk of problems and speeding up the healing process can be achieved by acting quickly.
How to treat an ingrown nail
The pain and potential problems of an ingrown nail can be reduced by following a few simple treatments. First and foremost, make sure the affected region is always dry and clean. To ease the pain of hardened skin surrounding your nails, soak your foot in warm water for 15 minutes a day.
Once the ingrown nail has been soaked, you can use sterile tweezers or dental floss to carefully pry up the nail’s edge. Take caution not to aggravate the situation by causing further skin damage or bleeding. Professional assistance from a podiatrist is always an option if you are unable to reach or lift the nail on your own.
Applying an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and wrapping the affected area with a sterile bandage helps alleviate pain and swelling. This will also serve to prevent illness.
When conservative measures, such as those performed at home, fail to alleviate the problem, your doctor may suggest removing all or part of the afflicted toenail under local anesthetic. It may sound scary, but in most cases, these techniques can relieve the agony of even the most severe ingrown nails in a matter of minutes.
Avoiding problems in the first place is essential. To prevent ingrown toenails, wear loose, roomy shoes that do not constrict your toes. If you want neater nails, don’t round the edges when you trim them. In order to keep your feet in tip-top shape, make sure you always clean and dry them thoroughly. If you follow these treatment suggestions and practice prevention, you can avoid most of the worst-case circumstances, like infections or surgical operations.
Prevention tips for ingrown nails
You can reduce your chances of getting ingrown nails by adopting a few easy precautions. If you want to keep your nails in good shape, here are some preventative measures.
If you round the corners of your nails, the nails will take longer to penetrate the skin. Always trim them straight across instead of rounding them. You should also avoid having your nails clipped too short, as this can also lead to ingrown nails.
To help prevent ingrown toenails, it’s essential to select footwear that offers plenty of room for your toes and fits correctly. Shoes that are either too small or too tight can raise the risk of ingrown nails. You should also take care not to pick or bite your nails and keep your feet dry, as moisture can cause the skin around the nails to become weakened. Additionally, avoid overworking yourself when engaging in activities that put pressure on your feet; make sure you give them a rest every now and then. With these measures in place, you’ll be less prone to developing an ingrown nail.
When to see a doctor for an ingrown nail
Avoiding serious complications from an ingrown nail requires prompt medical intervention. Ingrown nails are a common problem, and while most can be treated at home, sometimes you need to see a specialist.
Seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:
First, if your pain is severe and you have tried over-the-counter medications without success, you should see a doctor.
Another possible indicator of an infection is the appearance of redness, swelling, or pus in and around the site of the injury. To avoid even more serious problems, medical treatment is required.
Third, ingrown nails that don’t go away despite your best efforts to prevent them may be a symptom of a more serious problem that needs to be checked out by a doctor.
If an ingrown nail is preventing you from walking or performing daily tasks without pain, medical attention should be sought out immediately.
Remember that ingrown nails respond best to prompt treatment. You can avoid further problems and speed up the process of getting better if you go to the doctor only when absolutely required.