In order for an ingrown toenail cure or treatment to be effective, you need to look for the cause. While some cases seem to be genetic, because of abnormally shaped nails or an overgrowth of skin around the toenails, most cases are caused by tight shoes, cutting the nails too short or rounding off the tip.
A few cases are caused by some type of trauma to the nail plate or toe. An injury can cause the nail to grow in an irregular shape, which can lead to in-growth. Disease is a cause in rare cases.
So, if you're like most people, the cause is ill fitting shoes or bad maintenance. There are many over-the-counter treatments that you can use. Some work better than others. But, unless you address the underlying cause, you are not likely to see results. And, if you do see results, you may see the condition return.
To judge the fit of your shoes, check to see how much "wiggle room" you have. If you normally wear shoes that taper off to a point like many styles of women's dress shoes and some types of men's boots, you are increasing your risk of nail problems.
Once you are sure that your shoes fit properly, you can try the most often recommended ingrown toenail cure, which is regular soaking in Epsom salts. The warm water and the salts reduce the swelling and relieve the pain.
The length of your toenails should extend just beyond the tips of your toes. If you are cutting them much shorter than that, then you have an increased risk that they will curl and cut into the skin.
Your toenails should be cut straight across, not curved to match the shape of the front of your toes. If you have your nails done by a pedicurist, be sure to request a straight, rather than a curved cut. If you have difficulty doing your own nails and you prefer not to visit a nail salon, you can visit a podiatrist for your regular trim.
Another recommended ingrown toenail cure is to put fresh bits of cotton under the edge that is growing in. You would do this after your daily soak and dry. Apply a topical antibiotic or antiseptic solution, before you insert the cotton. There are some natural ingredients that work particularly well and also help to relieve the pain.
Tea tree oil has long been recommended as a natural ingrown toenail cure. The oils of the tea tree have anti-microbial activity. They have been used to treat fungal and bacterial infections for thousands of years. Even the birds use the leaves to kill parasites in their feathers.
Even people that normally take great care of their health sometimes neglect their feet and toes. With proper care and maintenance, you can have pain-free feet and toes. They support your body. You need to support them.
There is no "instant" ingrown toenail cure, but there are effective treatments. Just remember to address the causes, too.