Ingrown toenails or Onychocryptosis can cause minor discomfort in some cases or excruciating pain in others, depending on the extent of the growth. For some people, ingrown toenail problems get resolved without any medication or treatment.
In highly severe cases, people find it very painful to walk and are often forced to walk with a limp. Such painful ingrown toenails often immobilize a person and lead to complications if left untreated. Consult a podiatrist immediately in such cases.
How Do You Get Ingrown Toenails?
Although a toenail is meant to grow straight, outwards, it grows inwards into the fold of the toe in some cases. Such a condition can be attributed to any of the following reasons:
Athletes who are regularly practicing on the grounds tend to keep kicking small objects accidentally. Also, regular people who wear shoes with pointed tips are likely to develop ingrown toenails as such shoes pinch their toes all day long. Ballet dancers have to stand on their toes while practicing and performing. This constant stress can lead to ingrown toenails.
People who have stubbed toes will suffer ingrown toenails. Even dropping any hard object on the toe can damage it and cause an ingrown toenail. Some people have naturally hard toenails. Such thickened toenails tend to grow inwards even if they are trimmed regularly.
Some common home remedies for ingrown toenails that offer relief and are safe include:
Soaking in Warm Water
There is nothing like a warm soak, which is an excellent remedy for ingrown toenail problems. Soaking your feet in warm, soapy water helps soften the skin and creates a small gap between the skin and the toenail. Soaking your foot for 15 to 20 minutes can offer excellent relief.
If you are allergic to soap or don’t want to use it for any reason, add a few drops of white vinegar to the water. After soaking your foot, wipe it dry and place soft cotton or dental floss between your toenail and skin.
Olive Oil Therapy
Olive oil is a natural option that offers relief from the pain caused by an ingrown toenail and helps cure it faster. Apply a few drops of virgin olive oil on soft cotton and apply it to the skin below the toenail and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the soaked cotton and replace it with some dry cotton or dental floss and leave it for an hour or so. Repeat the treatment twice a day and the nail will start growing away from the skin and the pain will also get reduced considerably. However, don’t forget to get professional consultation to avoid repetition of the issue.
Keep Your Feet Healthy and Consult a Podiatrist
A foot with an ingrown toenail needs to be aired and kept free of moisture to prevent infection or fungus formation. It is advisable not to wear shoes throughout the day; alternatively, you can wear airy sandals until the ingrown toenail problems disappear.
Only people who don’t have any chronic conditions should attempt these home remedies. If the problem persists, it is advisable to consult a podiatrist, who will suggest suitable remedies.
While home remedies may or may not work, the best thing to do is to consult a specialist (podiatrist) who will remove the ingrown toenail (under anesthesia) and help get relief from the pain and discomfort.