It seems the nail on your big toe has a very bad sense of direction. Instead of growing out straight, like a good nail should, it has taken a wrong turn into your skin. And boy oh boy, does it hurt. Just a slow walk to the corner mailbox can make your toe throb as if you dropped a bowling ball on it. Ingrown toenails are by far the most common nail problem. They usually affect the big toe, although every toe is vulnerable. They occur for any number of reasons such as too-tight shoes, fungal infection, injury, and constant pressure on the feet can all cause a toenail to dig into surrounding skin. But more often than not, an ingrown toenail is self-inflicted, the result of an overzealous pedicure. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to treat and prevent ingrown toenail.
1. Buy Spacious Shoes
Tight-fitting shoes can cause a toenail to bury into your skin. So you want to make sure that your footwear has a lot of room up front. You should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes. There should be a half-inch between the end of your longest toe and the end of the toe box of the shoe. The toe box should be the right height, too, so that the tops of your toes do not rub against the shoe.
2. Don’t Cut Corners
Once your ingrown toenail has healed, you can prevent a recurrence by learning proper nail-trimming technique. It is recommended using toenail clippers, not ordinary scissors for your pedicure. In general, always clip the nail straight across. Do not cut close. The nail should extend over the top ridge of flesh so that it has room to grow. And don’t go fishing down the sides to try to extract a portion of the nail.
3. Don’t Try To Fix It
Home repairs can make an ingrown toenail even worse. People start excavating along the edge of the nail, and as they poke and prod, they nip the skin. When that happens, it opens the door and to a bad infection. Bear in mind that this is important to take note if you have diabetes or a circulatory problem. The risk is even greater. People with diabetes, for example, have decreased sensation in their feet. They might injure themselves without even realizing it.
4. Take A Dip
Soaking your foot in warm water will soften the skin around the nail and reduce inflammation. It is recommended using an over-the-counter antibacterial solution such as Domeboro. Finish your soak by gently drying your foot, then applying an antibacterial ointment to the affected area.
5. Give It Some Room
If your ingrown nail is painful and swollen, don’t confine it in tight-fittings shoes. Wear an open-toed slipper or a sandal. It is recommended to cut a hole in the toe box of an old shoe. The idea is to keep pressure off your toe.
6. Count On Cotton
You can get some relief by placing a small piece of cotton between the nail and the skin. However, you need to be cautious being overzealous with this remedy. People use toothpicks and other objects, and they do too much shoving and probing. They can end up making the problem worse.
7. Opt For Oil
Rub baby oil or olive oil on the side of the nail. It keeps the skin soft, so there is less pressure and discomfort. Also, the skin can more easily accommodate the nail.