Your toenails serve a purpose which is to protect your toes. They’re basically made of keratin which is a protein also makes up your skin, fingernails and hair. It’s keratin that makes you resistant to lead a healthy life daily. Physical activity, friction from your shoes and sweaty feet can all cause some health complications, one of these is ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the corners of your nails grow into the skin next to the nail. The most common ones occur in the big toe. It is also known as onychocryptosis and is a pretty common form of nail disease. It’s a painful condition as the nail could grow so that it cuts into one or both sides of the nail bed.
Ingrown toenails can result in pain, swelling, redness and even infection. Most of the time, this can be treated at home, but if the ingrown toenail pain is too much, then a doctor should be consulted. If you have diabetes or another condition that stops the blood flow to your feet, then you’re at a greater risk of complications of ingrown toenails and you should definitely go to a doctor.
When an ingrown toenail first appears, your toe gets hard, swollen and tender. Later, it may get infected and feel sore. They are most common and painful among teenagers as they usually have sweaty feet and it’s mostly the big toe that gets infected. Even older people are at risk because toenails thicken with age. After the redness, pain and swelling the nail infection may become severe. Sometimes, a small amount of puss can also be seen being drained from that area. Ingrown toenails may occur for multiple reasons. Here are some of the causes of ingrown toenails:
As mentioned before, ingrown toenails are a common occurrence but they can be extremely painful. They usually worsen and becomes more severe as the stages pass. The early symptoms of ingrown toenails can include:
Once the infection becomes worse and the toe becomes infected, then the symptoms of ingrown toenails include:
The best way to stop it from becoming a chronic problem is to take immediate action when you can see early signs of ingrown toenails.
If the problem becomes unbearably painful and severely infected, you can always try home remedies for ingrown toenails to fix the problem. Here are some ingrown toenail treatment that you can try at home and that may work when the ingrown toenail symptoms aren’t that severe:
The best thing to do is to consult a general physician before trying out any medical treatment for ingrown toenails. But these are some of the things you could try if at-home remedies don't treat ingrown toenails.
How to prevent ingrown toenails?
There is no sure way of preventing ingrown toenails, especially when they occur due to injury or a genetic shape of your toes. However, you can keep your feet clean at all times, wash them often and not let sweat stay for too long. Wear the right size shoes to avoid your toenails getting squashed.
When should one look at medical treatment for ingrown toenails?
If you have tried home remedies for ingrown toenails such as dipping your feet in warm water and applying antiseptic cream, and it still doesn’t get better, then you can look at medical treatments. If the pain is excruciating, you can look at going to a GP.
Can the medication cause any side effects?
This depends on what medication you’re taking. We suggest that you ask your doctor specifically what side effects the medicine for ingrown toenail can cause.
How to know if ingrown toenail is infected?
You can check if the ingrown toenail is infected or not with 3 simple ways:
1) Check if the skin around toenail feels warm or hot
When a nail is infected, the area around it becomes hot and an extreme pain accompanies the hotness. If you will leave the infected toenail untreated, it may develop a fever.
2) Watch for excessive hard or red skin around the toenail
One of the symptoms to check if your ingrown toenail is infected or not is to check if the skin around the toenail is red. If the redness around the toenail increases with time, it means the area is infected.
3) Look out for green or yellow pus
Having pus around toenails is a sure sign of infection. The pus looks green, yellow or white in colour and is surrounded around the red area.
These were the signs to know if the toenail is infected or not, but if you find any of these symptoms or have a doubt, make sure to consult a doctor.
How to get pus out of ingrown toenail?
To get the pus out of ingrown toenail, you can simply use a home remedy. Soak your foot in lukewarm water and mix Epsom salt in it to soften the area around your toenail. Doing so will help to drain out the pus easily and reduce the pain.
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