An ingrown toenail can be embarrassing but more than that it can be very painful to restrict your walking. Prompt action to facilitate normal toenail growth can reduce symptoms and save you from further complications.
If left untreated, your ingrown toenail can break into the skin of your big toe and makes way for the infection. A red, hot, swollen, and very painful big toe is what you can expect if you allow it to be infected.
What may cause your ingrown toenails
- Heredity - Chances of developing ingrown toenails will be strong if one or both parents had it.
- Ill-fitting shoes - Forcing your feet into shorter sized and tight-fitting shoes can lead to developing painful ingrown toenails. Adolescents and teens often get ingrown toenails due to this reason.
- Improper pedicure - Trimming the toe-nails to short, especially on the sides can result in pain, redness, and pus at times and develop conditions like ingrown toenails.
- Trauma - Occasional hitting or jamming your toe, dropping off weight on your toe, or participating in sports and events in which toes are used extensively, such as ballet, soccer, etc.
Ingrown toenail removal at home
You can treat your ingrown toenail at home if it is not already infected. Try the following steps:
- Soak the toe in very warm water with Epsom salt.
- Clip the affected area using a clean nail cutting tool.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage to the area.
Ingrown toenail surgery
Ingrown toenail surgery is an effective way of partial or full removal of the ingrown toenail. Doctors normally recommend surgery if:
- Your ingrown toenail can’t be treated successfully at home.
- You have recurring ingrown toenails.
- You have diabetes that can make the condition complicated.
The surgery will be performed under the local anesthesia. Post surgery you might have some pain once the anesthesia effect waned. This is common and can be treated with pain-relieving medicines.