If you have crooked toes or high arches, it’s easy to get your nails caught on your sock or end up with an ingrown nail. Ingrown nails are extremely painful and can be challenging to treat. Knowing how to treat ingrown toenails is essential, so they don’t reoccur. This definitive guide will help you understand what causes ingrown toenails and the best ways to treat them. Read on for everything you need to know about treating ingrown toenails with home remedies, medical solutions, and preventative measures so this doesn’t happen again.
What causes ingrown toenails?
An ingrown toenail appears when the edge of your toenail develops into the surrounding skin instead of out through it. Getting ingrown toenails on your big toe is common, but other toes can also get ingrown nails. They can happen for a few reasons:
1. A tight shoe – Tight shoes can make the skin around your toes thinner, which makes it harder for your nails to grow out of the skin.
2. Wearing shoes that are too narrow – If your shoes don’t have enough room for your toes to move, they can get squished together and make it harder for your nails to grow out of the skin.
3. Having a curved or abnormal nail shape – If your toenails are curved or growing in a different direction than they should, they could get caught against your skin and grow inside instead.
4. Inherited foot anatomy – Some people’s feet are more likely to get ingrown toenails than others. You may be more likely to get ingrown toenails if you have flat feet or high arches.
Home remedies for ingrown toenails.
One of the best ways to treat an ingrown toenail is with warm water. Soak your foot in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to break down the ingrown nail and help soften the skin around it. You can also use a pumice stone to break down the ingrown toenail gently.
Epsom salt is another way to break down the nail with water. You can add a cup of Epsom salt to a warm foot bath to break down the nail and relieve pain with the added benefit of moisturizing your skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While warm water can be soothing, it can also be painful to soak your foot in a water bowl for 10 to 15 minutes. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to the water to cause the warm foot to soak more soothingly.
When it comes to soothing an ingrown toenail, baking soda is your best bet. It’s soothing and softening on the skin and has mild antiseptic properties to help fight infection and reduce swelling.
If you don’t have any Epsom salt or baking soda on hand, use whatever you have in your kitchen. Basil, turmeric, and ginger are all excellent natural remedies for soothing an ingrown toenail.
Medical solutions for ingrown toenails.
An antibiotic ointment is one of the best ways to treat an ingrown toenail. Put a bit of the ointment on a cotton swab and gently dab it at the edge of your toenail to help break down the ingrown nail.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great way to fight off infection and stop bleeding in an ingrown nail. Put a bit of hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab and dab it on the edge of the nail.
If you have a crooked or abnormally shaped nail, stretching exercises can help the nail grow in a straighter direction and improve how likely it is to have an ingrown toenail again. To do these exercises, place your thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger on the top of your toes and use your remaining three fingers to grab the bottom of your toes.
Prevention is the best cure: Tips to avoid ingrown toenails
Trim your toenails. – Trimming your toenails is a must to avoid ingrown ones. When you don’t trim your toenails, they grow into your skin and can cause them to get stuck or ingrown.
Wear the right shoes. – You can avoid ingrown toenails by choosing shoes with enough room in the toe box and not wearing them too tight. If your feet grow more comprehensive as you age, buy shoes a half size larger so they can stretch out with time.
Try arch supports. – If you have high arches, wearing arch supports can help keep your toenails from getting caught under the skin and ingrown. There are many arch supports, so find one comfortable for you.
Try corn pads. – If you have flat feet and experience ingrown toenails, you might benefit from wearing corn pads. They can help keep your toenails from getting caught against the skin.
Consider a Pedi-boot. – If you have frequent ingrown toenails, consider wearing a Pedi-boot to help break down the nail and relieve the pain. A Pedi-boot is a unique shoe that has a built-in pumice stone.
Ingrown toenails are very painful and can be challenging to treat. Knowing how to treat them is essential so they don’t reoccur is necessary. This definitive guide will help you understand what causes ingrown toenails and the best ways to treat them with home remedies, medical solutions, and preventative measures so this doesn’t happen again.