Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful, making wearing shoes or walking properly difficult. An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail (or a portion of the toenail) grows into the skin and flesh that surrounds it. Ingrown toenails can result from several factors, like trimming nails too short, wearing shoes that pinch your toes or are generally ill-fitting, trauma to the region, and hereditary abnormalities. If you have an ingrown toenail, Mission Viejo podiatry services at Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates can help ease your pain and prevent the ingrown toenail from recurring.
Here are ways you may treat your ingrown toenail.
Soak in warm, soapy water
Soaking your foot in warm, soapy water will soften the nail and surrounding skin, easing pressure and providing comfort. Also, the soap keeps the area clean, preventing infection from beginning before you can see a doctor. Fill a bucket or basin with warm water and a tiny bit of mild soap. Soak your foot in the liquid for 15-20 minutes, dry it, and clip your toenail straight across. Avoid clipping your toenail too short or rounding the edges since this might increase your chance of having an ingrown toenail.
Apply antibiotic ointment
Applying an antibiotic ointment to your affected toenail can help to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Making it simpler for your toenail to recover. After rubbing in an antibiotic ointment, cover the toe with a bandage or gauze to protect it from additional irritation. Also, replace the bandage and apply the ointment daily until your toe is completely healed.
Wear comfortable, perfect-fitting shoes
One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is toe overcrowding, due to wearing ill-fitting shoes. Wearing comfy shoes will help you avoid developing an ingrown toe in your big toe.
Choose shoes that fit well and offer adequate room for your toes. Ensure your shoes are comfortable and allow you to wiggle your toes. During the healing period wear sandals instead of shoes to reduce pressure on your sore toes.
Soak in apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular treatment for a wide range of conditions, including ingrown nails. Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties.
You can treat your ingrown nail by soaking your afflicted foot in a pail or basin of warm water mixed with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. Soak your feet in this mixture for 20 minutes every day. After soaking, dry your feet and apply an antibiotic ointment.
Consider using a toe brace
Using a toe brace can be helpful in treating your ingrown toenail. A toe brace is a small gadget that slips over the damaged toe and gently lifts the nail away from the skin, relieving pressure and allowing the nail to grow normally.
Place a toe brace on the damaged toenail and adjust it as needed for a comfortable fit. You can wear the toe brace for several hours each day or overnight. You should notice improvements in your toenail after a few weeks of using the toe brace.
Call Aloha Foot and Ankle Associates to book your appointment for treatment of an ingrown toenail.