Ingrown toenails can be downright painful. Not only that, they can be dangerous, especially if they become infected. Toenails become ingrown when they grow into the skin around the nail instead of over the skin. When that happens, the skin around the nail becomes inflamed. Here are four simple ways to help you deal with the discomfort of an ingrown toenail.
Soak in Epsom Salt
As the nail grows into the skin, you may notice the area becoming red and inflamed. The increased swelling makes it difficult for the nail to grow in. The inability for the nail to grow in increases the amount of swelling you experience. You can reduce the swelling by soaking your feet in Epsom salts. Fill a basin with warm water and add 1 cup of Epsom salt. Place your feet in the water and soak them for about 30 minutes. Soak your feet at least once a day until the swelling recedes.
Wear White Socks
If you have ingrown toenails, you should avoid wearing colored socks until your toe has had time to heal. This is particularly true if your ingrown toenails have cut into the skin around your toes. As you sweat, the dye from the colored socks can soak into the sores around your toes. If that happens, you may develop infections or allergic reactions to the dye. Be sure to wear clean, white socks each day.
If your shoes are too tight, they can cause your toes to press together. Being in cramped quarters for extended periods of time can cause your toenails to grow in wrong. This can lead to an increased occurrence of ingrown toenails. If you can't wiggle your toes around in your shoes, you may be wearing the wrong size shoes. Have your feet sized and buy a pair of shoes with enough space for your toes to wiggle. It's also a good idea to wear a pair of open-toed shoes around the house.
Leave the Surgery to Doctors
When you have ingrown toenails, you should resist the urge to perform bathroom surgery. Those toenail clippers and scissors you have in your bathroom are loaded with germs. Unfortunately, those germs could cause infections. Not only that, but if you cut yourself, you could introduce infection that way too.
Ingrown toenails are nothing to laugh at. If you've got an ingrown toenail, use the methods provided above to relieve the pain. If your ingrown toenail is causing severe pain or bleeding, you should see your podiatrist as soon as possible.