An ingrown toenail can cause a great deal of pain to the person concerned. Not only do ingrown toenails cause a lot of pain, but they are also responsible for terrible discomfort while walking.
The reason for this being that an ingrown toenail digs into the skin around it, causing an aggravating, pricking sensation when even the slightest force is applied to the area. In certain cases, the ingrown toenail pokes through the skin and results in bleeding. In such situations, the cut area is prone to infections as the surface of the skin has been ruptured by the toenail.
Make sure to check the affected area for any pus build-up or discolouration. The presence of these signs could indicate an infection in that area. Ingrown toenails can occur due to a variety of reasons. The most common reasons being cutting your toenails incorrectly or the use of footwear that is small for your feet.
Besides these common reasons, it has been found that the problem of ingrown toenails is also hereditary in many cases, meaning that it passes down in the family from one generation to the next. Ingrown toenails are not something to be anxious about, but you must be vigilant when dealing with such toenails. You must ensure that they do not grow long enough to puncture the surrounding skin.
Care must also be taken to prevent the occurrence of any infection in the area as this could cause complications. If the skin has already been cut or infected, care must be taken to keep the area clean and protected. Here are some handy remedies that you can put to use while treating your condition of ingrown toenails.
Warm Water Soaks
It is very important to soak your feet before you attempt to clip the ingrown toenails. This is because of the fact that nails are much easier to cut when they have been softened up with warm water. Even the skin surrounding the nails is hydrated when you soak it in warm water. The additional benefit of soaking is that it helps in cleaning the feet thoroughly.
Normally, one might wash the feet with some soap and water. But this does not exactly clean the feet, particularly the areas under the nails and between the toes. For a thorough foot wash, it is advised that you soak your feet in a basin full of warm water. The warmth of the water helps in softening up any stubborn deposits of dirt and grime from the feet.
This is exceptionally beneficial if the toenail has already pierced the surface of the skin, resulting in bleeding or an infection. In such cases, the warm water helps to wash away any dirt from the cut skin. Once the area has been cleaned, you can later apply an antiseptic over it after wiping your feet dry with a soft towel.
Salt is one of the most powerful antiseptics available in nature. Salt should not be used directly on the affected area as this could cause burning and pain. The ideal way of using salt in the treatment of ingrown toenails is to use it while soaking or washing your feet.
Salt is highly recommended in cases where the skin surrounding the toenail is infected or cut. Salt helps to kill the infection and this in turn, speeds up the healing process of this condition. Add three to four spoonsful of common salt to a basin full of water and allow your feet to soak in this saltwater for at least twenty minutes. Following this, you should make sure to dry your feet thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth.
It is very important to apply a topical antiseptic on the affected toenail and its surrounding skin. This should be done in order to keep infections at bay. Aloe vera is very mild on the skin yet it is very strong in its action on any infection that might be present. The ideal time to apply aloe vera is after you have soaked and wiped your feet.
The skin and nails absorb moisture readily when they are soaked in water for some time. Aloe vera can be used after extracting the fresh gel from a leaf of the plant. Scoop out this gel and apply it liberally to the feet. Aloe vera gel is also available in packaged bottles and can be easily purchased from any medical store. Even before going to bed, make sure to apply an adequate amount of aloe vera gel and massage it gently into the skin to facilitate absorption.
Epsom salts are very beneficial in treating cases of ingrown toenails. In order to make use of Epsom salts as a remedy for this condition, one must add a sufficient amount of these salts to the water that is used for soaking the feet. Epsom salts have a very calming effect on the affected area.
The pain and inflammation is effectively tackled once Epsom salts penetrate the area. Since these salts are rather mild on the inflamed area, they can be used as frequently as required. Regular usage of this remedy has been advised by many health experts as this gives a great amount of relief to the sufferer.
Turmeric has been an age-old remedy for treating cases of ingrown nails. The main reason behind this is the fact that turmeric is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent. Take a piece of fresh turmeric and grind it to a smooth paste. Apply this paste liberally, to the toenail and the surrounding skin.
Leave this paste on the affected area for about half an hour before washing it off. Turmeric is very effective in speeding up the body’s natural healing process. Even in cases of open cuts in the skin near the toe, turmeric helps the wound to dry up much faster than it would have, on a normal basis. Turmeric can also be used in the form of a dried powder that is to be added into the water before soaking the feet.