What are Ingrown Toenails?
The problem of Ingrown Toenails is quite common and tends to affect big toe in most of the cases. However, it may affect other toenails as well. In medical terms, the condition is known as Onychocryptosis. It is accompanied by pain and inflammation.
Basically, injury to the toenails causing the edge of the affected nail to press against and penetrate deep into the portion of skin at outer edge of the toe gives rise to this problem. Therefore, it is generally recommended to cut the toenails straight across without tapering the corners in order to avoid Ingrown Toenails.
Ingrown Toenails should not be left untreated or else the injury can develop infection, thereby making the condition more troublesome. Thus, you can employ some simple and inexpensive home remedies for Ingrown Toenails natural treatment to deal with this problem.
These natural remedies work best when adopted in the initial stages. Depending on the severity of the condition, your Podiatrist may also recommend mild surgery in order to remove the portion of nail causing problem.
Causes and Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails
As already mentioned, Ingrown Toenails are usually caused by toe injuries. Apart from this, repeated pressure on the toes due to activities like kicking, running etc can also lead to this problem.
Shape of the nails (rounded), poor nail trimming, peeling off the edges of nails, wearing tight shoes and socks, nail fungus and other similar factors can increase the risk of developing and aggravating existing Ingrown Toenails. Hereditary factors also influence the chances of developing this condition.
Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails are redness, pain, inflammation and sensitivity to pressure in the affected area. The edge of affected toenail tends to thicken and widen. Infected Ingrown Toenails are characterized by the presence of pus and watery discharge along with increased swelling.
At times, individuals suffering from Diabetes and poor blood circulation may develop complications. As natural home remedies for Ingrown Toenails take time in curing the condition, such individuals are advised to consult a doctor before adopting any treatment.
Natural Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenails
• Soaking the feet in warm water for about 15-30 minutes, three to four times in a day is one of the simplest natural home remedies for Ingrown Toenails. Follow this therapy on a daily basis to soften the affected area so that portion of the nail embedded in the skin can be lifted easily.
You can also add some Epsom salt in warm water to make this home remedy even more effective as Epsom salt foot soaks help relieve pain and inflammation.
• In case of infection, the above mentioned natural remedy for Ingrown Toenails home treatment can be followed by the application of some hydrogen peroxide on the affected area helps cure the infection. Make sure you dry your feet well before using hydrogen peroxide.
• Regularly soaking the affected area in warm water and then placing a small piece of cotton between the skin and Ingrown Toenail growing in the wrong direction can help heal this condition by allowing the toenail to grow above the skin instead of penetrating deeper.
Change the piece of cotton every day. The same procedure can be followed using a thin slice of lemon in a gauze bandage.
• Gently massaging the affected area with tea tree oil and lavender is one of the most common Ingrown Toenails home remedies. The oil has antiseptic properties that help reduce induce infection and the massaging action eases pain and pressure.
• When dealing with Ingrown Toenails, avoid wearing toe-pinching shoes. Instead, try to wear open-toe shoes to avoid pressure on the affected area and let the toes breathe.
Diet for Ingrown Toenails
Although there is no specific diet to cure Ingrown Toenails still, a healthy and nutritious diet emphasizing on the consumption of green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits rich in folic acid can help facilitate the process of healing.
Apart from following the above mentioned home remedies for Ingrown Toenails and dietary suggestions, follow certain preventive measures as well like wearing comfortable footwear, trimming the nails properly without cutting the nails too far down the sides, maintaining adequate hygiene etc.