Ingrown toenails should never be ignored. If you're experiencing the discomfort of an ingrown toenail, or not experiencing any pain, you should get it checked. These types of ingrown nails may seem minor at first glance but can fast develop into a severe problem. Here's why you should never ignore an ingrown toenail and how to treat it before it's too late.
Ingrown Nails Lead To Infection
Outside of any discomfort, you may be experiencing, letting an ingrown nail continue to grow can lead to infection. Infections come with a slew of issues; the most problematic is how they will affect you and your body. The symptoms of infection are:
Pus or bleeding coming out of your toe
Hot or cold shivers
Redness and continued swelling
To stave off the pain, over-the-counter pain killers, like ibuprofen, should be able to help. However, once it's reached this stage, you're likely to need serious treatment by a doctor.
Treatment and Remedies
If your ingrown nail is in the early stages, then there are several home remedies you can perform. The first is to soak your feet for 15-20 minutes in warm, soapy water, three times per day. This will reduce swelling and pain. The next is to wear more comfortable socks and shoes. Open-toed shoes may be able to alleviate some of the duress on your toe and allow the nail to develop outwards. Of course, if it's too painful or developed long enough, there are ingrown toenail treatments doctors can perform. Finally, the last option is nail removal, which will require an anesthesiologist. This is an unideal treatment as it will increase the risks of infection and the chances of your toenail regrowing back incorrectly in the future.
How Do I Know If My Toenail is Ingrown?
If you're asking this question, you're likely in the early stages of an ingrown toenail. That's good. Unlike normal nails which develop over the skin, an ingrown nail can be seen digging into your skin. If it's just starting to develop, it's likely irritating or uncomfortable, but not overly painful. A few early symptoms you may note are:
Swelling around the nail
A hardened area around the nail
Tender or soreness where the nail connects
If you're unsure whether your nail is becoming ingrown, seek a medical professional for help.
How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can happen as a result of wearing too tight of shoes, doing rigorous activities, such as soccer, ballet, or rock climbing, and cutting your nails too short. Unfortunately, genetics play a factor too. Some people are simply more prone to getting ingrown toenails. People with diabetes are prone to ingrown nails and need to be especially careful. Proper nail cutting and regular foot hygiene are essential to ensuring your ingrown nail don't develop or get infected.
Heal Your Ingrown Nail ASAP
Proper nail care can keep your toenails healthy and infection-free. If you have one, you know that it's a pain. That doesn't mean it's too late. Try home remedies to see if it gets better. If your pain continues or you notice signs of infection, get your ingrown toenail checked out immediately. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.