How to Treat Ingrown Toenail, Removal, Cure, Fix and Prevent

How can you fix an ingrown toenail? This article contain insights on the various measures and remedies that explains how to treat ingrown toenail effectively. You will also learn more on how to remove and prevent this condition.

How to Treat Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail which is also known as unguis incarnates is a condition whereby the sharp corners of the toenail digs into the soft tissues of the skin that is adjacent to it. It is a painful condition that may cause inflammation, swelling, redness and presence of discharge on the affected areas.
This condition can affect any toe but it commonly affects the big toenails. An ingrown toenail can lead to an infection if left untreated. This condition may progress into an abscess that may require serious surgical treatments. Therefore, it is advisable to treat this condition before it may reach such critical conditions. The following are the various treatments that you may use:

  • Lifting the nail

Raising your toenail slightly above the soft skin tissues may help to prevent this condition from happening or coming back. This treatment is recommended by doctors and it helps the nail from coming into contact with the soft tissues that are adjacent to the nail.
Using tweezers, take a small pierce of cotton and hold it between the edge of the toenail and the soft skin tissues under the nail. Using pointed tweezers, push the cotton under the corners of the nail. Don’t push hard as it may damage the affected tissues.
Remove and replace the cotton on daily basis after cleaning since it helps in reducing the chances of infection on the affected area. You may also dip the cotton in an antiseptic solution, it helps in killing the bacteria that may cause an infection according to mayoclinic.

  • Removing the nail partially

In case of a severe infected ingrown toenail symptoms, you may be required to trim some portion of the nail. This can be done by yourself but it may cause some pain and therefore it is recommended to visit your doctor for removal. Your doctor may reduce the pain by numbing the affected toe using anesthetic before performing this procedure.
When this procedure is performed by yourself, ensure that the nail is trimmed straight without leaving a pointed part on the edges. Pointed edge increases the risk of this condition by growing toward the skin tissues.

  • Removing the nail and some tissues

Your doctor may recommend the removal of the whole nail and some tissues if this condition re-occurs on the same toe for several times even after performing other treatments. Removing the nail will prevent it from growing back. He or she may use a chemical or laser method in performing this procedure. The doctor will also recommend other treatment on how to treat ingrown toenail after removal of the nail.

Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment

There are various toenail home treatments that you can use in curing this conditions. They are simple treatment that are performed while at home using various resources that are found within your home or from natural stores that are available within your locality. They include:

  1. Soak the affected foot in warm salt water

 Soak your sore foot in warm salt water for 10 minutes three times a day. You may use Povidone-iodine instead of Epsom salts. Povidone-iodine has antimicrobial properties that helps in guarding the affected foot against bacterial and fungal infections.
It also helps in relieving pain, redness and swellings on the affected toenail. After soaking, dry your foot well using a clean cotton towel. The affected foot should be kept dry all the time except when soaking. Avoiding walking barefooted in dumpy areas that may contain different types of fungi and other bacteria that may cause an infection.

  1. Take over-the-counter pain relievers

This are medicines that are taken without doctor’s prescription. They help to ease the pain, swelling and redness on the affected toe. They includes acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. They are found in a chemist that is near your location. Take such medicines as directed by the manufactures instructions.

  1. Choose sensible footwear that are easy on your toes

Choose shoes that are made from soft fabrics and which has a big room for the toes. Consider wearing sandals or open-toed shoes until your condition improves. Wearing shoes that squeezes the toes together may place pressure on your ingrown toenail and hence worsening the condition.

  1. Apply antibiotic ointment on the affected toe

Applying an antibiotic ointment on the sore toe is an effective remedy on how to treat ingrown toenail infection. Apply on the tender parts of your toe before covering it with a bandage to prevent re-infections. According to everyday health.

  1. Place a cotton wool or dental floss under your toenail

After cleaning or soaking your foot, place a cotton wool under the edge off your nail. This remedy helps in lifting the nail slightly above the skin tissues. It prevents the nail from digging into the soft tissues of the skin around the nail. Replace the cotton or dental floss daily until your condition improves.

  1. Pull the skin against the nail

Use a nail file or other blunt object to gently move the soft tissues that may be growing over the nail. Do it with a lot of care to avoid damaging or cutting the skin.

  1. Cover the affected toe with a bandage

Covering the affected toe with a bandage helps in protecting the area against infections. It also provides an ample condition for the healing process. Replace the bandage every time you clean the toe.

  1. Inspect your ingrown toenail for any symptom of an infection

Detecting the signs of an infection will help you to perform the right treatment. Such symptoms includes: increased pain, swelling, redness and presence of yellow or green discharge from the area. Visit your doctor right away in case of an infection.

  1. Apply tea tree oil

Applying oil on the affected toe helps to soften skin tissues and hence relieving pressure especially when wearing a shoe. Tea tree oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that helps in guarding the areas against infections.

  1. soak the foot in potassium permanganate

This remedy is effective on how to treat ingrown toenail at home especially when it is infected. It helps in treating fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. Soaking the affected foot in water that contains 0.04% of potassium permanganate helps in treating this condition within 2 weeks according to wikihow.

How to Get Rid Of an Ingrown Toenail

There are various treatments that you can use to get rid of ingrown toenail. They varies from simple treatments that are performed at home to more complex treatments that requires a doctors examinations. They include:

  • Doctors examination and tests

Visiting your doctor for examination and treatment helps in treating this condition fast. Your doctor will examine your sore toe carefully to determine if there is any form of an infection. The doctor will evaluate your condition by asking you several question such as: how your condition developed, the duration it has taken, types of treatment performed before and any other medical problem that you may be having.
The other physical examinations and blood tests includes checking your blood pressure and sugar level, body temperature, examination of your ingrown toenail and if necessary, performing an x-ray of your toe. The doctor will therefore perform the various treatment depending with the severity of your condition.
He or she will also prescribe you some medicines to use. He or she may also recommend some checkups until the condition improves. You are supposed to take the medicines as directed by your doctors. You will also be free to ask any question before taking the medicines.

  • Medical treatments

There are various medical treatments that are recommended if your ingrown toenail is not infected. Such treatments helps to get rid of this condition fast. They include elevating the affected toenail slightly above the soft skin tissues. It helps in preventing the nail from growing towards the skin.
Other treatments that includes proper cleaning of the affected area and choosing a shoe that provide spacious room for your toes may be recommended until when you recover from this condition. According to home remedy shop.

  • Self-care at home treatments

Home remedy treatments are also effective on how to fix an ingrown toenail especially when in its early stages. They include soaking the foot in warm salt water for some time, keeping the affected area clean all the time and avoiding shoes that exert pressure on the affected toe among others.

  • Surgery

You may also need a surgery when this condition does not improve. This method is effective on how to treat ingrown toenail especially when the symptoms are too severe as a result of an infection or when this condition re-occurs after a short time. This procedure is performed in hospital by a Podiatrist.

How to Remove an Ingrown Toenail

This condition may cause a lot of discomfort especially when it is infected. You may start experiencing excessive pain and discharge when wearing a shoe. This condition may cause an urge to remove part of the nail or the whole nail. Therefore a surgery is recommended to perform this procedure.
The tetanus status of your body will be required and you may be given some boosters to raise it. This is done to prevent the wound from developing tetanus. The doctor will then inject a local anaesthetic in the joint of your toe to make it numb.
The doctor will now start the procedure of removing the potion of ingrown toenail or the whole nail. The discharge will be drained from the end of the toe. The nail is removed to prevent this condition from re-occurring again.
The doctor may remove some of the nail bed tissues or apply a chemical that will prevent this condition from happening again. He or she will finalize this procedure by applying some medications and covering the toe in a bandage to heal. You may also be recommended to take some antibiotics.

How to Prevent Ingrown Toenail

There are various measures you can take to prevent this condition. This measures save your time and resources of finding the various methods on how to treat ingrown toenail. They include the following:

  • Wear shoes that fits you properly. It helps to ensure that your foot remains healthy all the time. You are also supposed to wear cotton socks rather than synthetic and change them daily.
  • Keep your feet clean by washing them every day. Dry them thoroughly using a clean towel and apply a moisturizer.
  • Avoid cutting your nails too short or too low especially on the sides. You are supposed to cut the nails straight across making the corners visible above the skin tissues. Cut the nails when they are soft especially after taking a warm shower.
  • Take extra care of your nails if you have conditions like diabetes. A gentle file on the edges of the nail and visiting your podiatrist for nail trimming is recommended.
  • Visit your podiatrist right away you start developing symptoms of infected ingrown toenails such as redness, excessive pain, swelling and presence of discharge from the affected toe.

More Sources and References:
Everyday health.