Tips From Your Foot Doctor
Ingrown toenails occur for numerous reasons – from wearing shoes that are too tight, to cutting your toenails too short, to injuries. When it does occur, the pain from an ingrown toenail can be quite severe. If this toenail becomes infected, you could encounter pain and swelling pain that lasts from a few days up to a few weeks.
How To Treat Ingrown Toenails
While it is best to visit a foot clinic and have your foot examined by a chiropodist, you may be able to alleviate the symptoms at home – as long as it is not already infected. Some things you can do include:
- A warm water soak of the affected foot up to four times per day. While your foot is soaking, gently push back the skin around the toenail using a cotton swab.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, for any discomfort.
- Soak your foot in hot water and Epsom salt for up to 30 minutes at least twice a day. Once the skin and toenail are softened, trim the toenail, paying specific attention to the ingrown area. Use a pointed tool, such as tweezers, to lift the portion of toenail growing into the skin. Push a small piece of cotton between the toenail and skin to prevent it from growing back. Apply an infection-fighting ointment and bandage the toe.
When To Seek Professional Help At Your Foot Clinic
If the toe is already infected, you need to visit a foot clinic to have it taken care of. Symptoms of an infection include redness, severe pain around the area, swollen skin, and puss oozing from the ingrown toenail site. Your foot doctor may prescribe antibiotics and painkillers depending on the extent of the ingrown toenail. Surgery may be required if the toenail does not respond to traditional treatment.
Can You Prevent Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails are preventable with proper foot care. Some ways to prevent them in the future include:
- Cutting your toenails properly. Cut them in a straight line, and never cut around the corners to give them a rounded edge. Also, never cut your toenails too short.
- Socks, shoes and other footwear products should fit properly – footwear that is too tight can force the toenail to grow into the skin.
- Your feet should be kept clean and dry. If you have sweaty feet, speak to a foot doctor about potential treatments; because, sweaty feet are prone to ingrown toenails.
The experts at Comfort Stride can help diagnose and treat your ingrown toenail. If you are experiencing discomfort or are worried your toenail is infected, seek medical treatment right away to prevent the infection from becoming more serious.
If home treatment is not working for your ingrown toenail, or the pain continues, visit one of our foot clinics today.