Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Ingrown toenail is medically known as unguis incarnates or onychocryptosis. This is the condition where the toenail curves and grows to the edges of the skin. This usually happen when the toenails are cut improperly or when wearing tight or improper footwear. There are times when the condition is due to a trauma or a problem with the toenail, thus leading to ingrown. This condition is also commonly found on the big toe.
When your toenails have sharp edges, it might dig right into your skin, particularly on the sides of the toe. Due to this, inflammation may occur and as the problem develops, it might result to severe pain. Furthermore, the inflammation can be noticed all around the fingernails and extra tissues will start growing within the area. This may lead to an infection, which is often characterized by the formation of pus. If you were suffering from such condition, it would be best to find an ingrown toenail treatment for it.
In case the problem is minor, you may resort to home remedies for relief. When the same condition developed, you have to have the proper treatment, which often includes oral and/or topical medications with or without home treatment. However, if the condition results to a severe infection and pain, surgery might be necessary.
Most Commonly Used Treatments for Ingrown Toenail
- Foot Soak: this is one of the best reliefs for an ingrown toenail. You can do this by simply soaking your feet in warm water three times a day. You can also add Epsom salt into the water before soaking your feet for faster relief. Once you removed your feet from the water, make sure to dry it using a soft cloth. Apply antiseptic cream on the affected area for more help.
- Avoid Footwear: while following an ingrown toenail treatment, make sure that you keep it open. As much as possible, avoid wearing footwear that is closed until you have cured the problem. You can wear slippers or open sandals as long as the toes are exposed. Make sure that you put on footwear that will not add pressure to your ingrown toenail, especially when walking or standing. You should also avoid wearing socks and heels. Bear in mind that wearing tight socks can worsen the condition. You may also put a bandage on it so that it will not collect dirt while you are walking.
- What not to do: although some people believe that lifting the corner tissue of the toenail and placing cotton underneath it is helpful, you should avoid doing the same thing. It is also necessary that you avoid using any instruments on the toenail, like a nipper or a pusher, as these can only aggravate the condition and worsen the infection. Although cutting the nail straight is considered as a precautionary measure, remember that it is not considered as an ingrown toenail treatment. You also have to avoid cutting the nails in V shape or straight while the ingrown toenail is still there. Instead of doing such things, it would be best to consult a podiatrist.
- Medication: a specialist may examine the condition of the ingrown toenail and prescribe the right treatment for it. These treatments usually consist of soaking of the foot into warm water with antiseptic solutions and application of an antiseptic cream. You might also be prescribed with painkillers as well as medications that can speed up the process of healing. In case the infection has spread and it is causing severe pain, you might be required to undergo surgery, as this may only be the best treatment available for your foot condition.
- Surgery: surgery for an ingrown toenail is considered as a minor procedure but local anesthesia will still be administered prior to the procedure. The surgical procedure usually depends on the infection and on the severity of the condition. In some cases, the edge of the nail will be removed without disturbing your nail bed. For severe cases of ingrown toenail, the cells in the nail bed are killed by using a chemical like liquefied phenol. A dressing will be applied and the ingrown toenail treatment will continue up to three to 4 days or until the pain disappears. After the removal of the ingrown toenail, a regrowth should be expected after 3 to 4 months.
The cost of an ingrown toenail treatment depends on the course of treatment and the severity of the condition. However, in order to avoid the need for a surgery, you may take preventive measures when dealing with an ingrown toenail. Remember that wearing comfortable footwear, keeping your toenails a bit longer or cutting them straight can help prevent the development of ingrown toenail. In case of an infection, immediate treatment can also help cure the problem faster.