I know what many people think: An ingrown toenail on the big toe is no big deal.
And yet, believe me, it is not without danger! In this article, I explain why it is very important to treat the problem as soon as it appears.
Because a skin infection can quickly develop into a panic attack. Fortunately, there are effective home treatments to treat your foot (or hand) at home without a prescription.
Here are 8 grandma’s remedies to get rid of an ingrown toenail in just one week. Watch:
Ingrown toenail: what are the symptoms and causes?
An ingrown toenail occurs when one of the edges of the nail digs into the surrounding skin.
More specifically, it is an abnormal digging into the flesh. And those who know will tell you: It’s very painful.
In addition, redness and swelling appear around the affected area. Most often, this problem affects the big toe. It is a very common condition in both men and women.
The most common causes are
- Cutting the nails too short or at an angle (too close to the intersection with the skin)
- Wearing socks or shoes that are too tight
- Shocks and trauma, such as banging your toe on a piece of furniture
- Repetitive strain injuries, especially for runners.
8 Quick and Effective Remedies to Get Rid of it
#8 Soak your foot in warm soapy water
This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Soak the affected foot in a bath of warm soapy water. How long should I do this?
It is recommended that you do this treatment 3 times a day for up to 20 minutes.
It is best to use a 100% natural soap. For example, Aleppo soap.
Do you have Epsom salt at home? Then add it to your foot bath. Indeed, it is also known to relieve foot pain.
#7 Soak your foot in cider vinegar
It’s scientifically proven.
Cider vinegar has powerful antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
That’s why it’s one of the most common ingredients in grandmother’s remedies.
Including to heal an ingrown toenail. To use it, first fill a basin with warm water.
Add some cider vinegar: between 50 and 75 ml. Soak your foot in this bath for 15 to 20 minutes a day.
After each bath, don’t forget to dry the affected foot thoroughly with a clean towel.
#6 Put cotton between the nail and the skin
It is best to do this after taking a foot bath. That way, the warm water will have softened the nail enough and it will be easier to lift.
Here, the idea is to gently lift the edge of the ingrown nail. Afterwards, put a small piece of clean gauze or cotton between the nail and the skin.
But what is the purpose of cotton, you may ask? Thanks to the cotton, the nail will grow over the skin, without sinking into it. You don’t have any cotton or pads at home.
Then you should know that dental floss, which is much thinner, can replace cotton. And one more tip: To avoid the risk of infection, soak the cotton (or floss) in alcohol before using this treatment.
#5 Apply an antibiotic cream to the painful area
Another effective treatment to get rid of an ingrown toenail is antibiotic cream and ointment. Don’t you know?
This type of cream promotes healing and helps reduce the risk of infection. They are also called “local antibiotics”.
And the good news is that they are available without a prescription at any pharmacy. Plus, they’re easy to use. Apply it directly to the affected area, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Typically, 3 applications per day are required. Also remember to cover the affected area with a bandage after each application.
Some examples of creams are: Fucidin Aureomycin, Neomycin, Flammazine, Mupiderm, Eryfluid, Erythrogel or Dalacin T Topic.
#4 Wear wide shoes
Think about it…
If your shoes are too tight, they compress your toes and prevent them from moving.
And the same thing happens if your socks and stockings are too tight. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of ingrown toenails.
No wonder! That’s why it’s recommended to wear wide shoes and socks. In other words, they should let your toe move without rubbing.
Can you see why? For one thing, it’s to keep it from getting worse. But it’s also good advice as a general rule, to prevent it from appearing.
In fact, if you’re trying to heal an ingrown toenail, it’s even advisable to avoid shoes altogether.
Better to wear open-toed sandals, until the pain and inflammation goes away.
#3 Take Doliprane or other painkillers
Sounds too simple, right? But Doliprane contains paracetamol.
And paracetamol can actually help relieve the pain caused by an ingrown toenail.
But maybe you also have swelling in your toe?
If so, it’s best to take ibuprofen. This relieves both the pain and the swelling.
As you know, these painkillers can be bought without a prescription.
But it goes without saying: Never exceed the dosage recommended by the manufacturer!
#2 Use a toe protector
A toe protector is basically a sleeve that you put around your toe.
Why put a tube around the affected toe? Basically, it acts as a shock absorber until your toe heals completely.
In particular, it protects against the pressure exerted by your shoes. Rather logical, when you think about it!
Afterwards, you continue to wear it until the ingrown toenail disappears.
The toe protectors are available in 2 forms:
- In the form of rings, which cover and protect the affected part of the nail.
- In the form of tubes, which cover the entire toe.
#1 Try a nail straightener
I warn you, this is probably the most unusual solution on this list!
Here’s how it works: The nail straightener is made of a very thin composite material.
It is clipped onto the edge of the affected nail, with a thin layer of glue to keep it in place. And that’s where the magic begins.
The nail straightener will naturally lift the edges of the ingrown nail. For one thing, it keeps it from digging into the skin. More importantly, it allows your nail to grow back straight.
And that’s it! Goodbye, pain, swelling and company…
See your doctor for a treatment with antibiotics
Here’s what you need to know: If your ingrown toenail is not infected, doctors usually don’t prescribe antibiotics.
But wait… You should know that there are exceptions to this rule. And be careful, if this applies to you, it’s very very important! Do you have a chronic disease?
For example diabetes, heart disease, or an immune system disease?
Then go see a doctor without fail. And this, even if you don’t have an infection.
But if your nail is infected, treatment with antibiotics is probably the best solution for you. Here are the symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail:
– intense redness
– sharp, throbbing pain
– intense swelling
– Pus discharge
– a warm feeling in and around the toe
– bad smell.
As a last resort: surgical treatment
If none of the above remedies have been successful in removing your ingrown toenail…
Or if, despite all the treatments, the ingrown toenail keeps coming back… There is only one choice: surgical treatment.
The doctor will remove the part of the nail that hurts the skin. But don’t panic!
Of course, the procedure is done under local anesthesia. It also involves changing the curvature of the nail to avoid a recurrence.
Talk to your doctor and he or she will explain the steps to follow. The worst thing to do? It would be to let the condition of your nail get worse!
Ingrown toenail: when to consult a doctor?
On the surface, an ingrown toenail may seem like a minor annoyance. But for some people, it can lead to very serious complications.
I know, I’m repeating myself a bit…
But it’s so important to point out! There are certain circumstances where seeing your doctor becomes necessary, even for a mild case of ingrown toenail.
I can’t stress this enough… So, go see your doctor right away, if you suffer from a chronic disease like:
– heart disease,
– or an immune system disease
Similarly, go see your doctor if :
– the pain, redness, and swelling become more intense
– if the ingrown toenail persists despite home remedies
– if your skin has an allergic reaction to a treatment
– if you have questions about the best way to treat an ingrown toenail.
Again: Most of the time, an ingrown toenail heals very easily.
Using the above home treatments, it should disappear in about 1 week.
And this without leaving any after-effects. But very often, ingrown toenails have the annoying tendency to reappear!
That’s why you need to know how to avoid ingrown toenails. First of all, you have to make sure you cut your toenails properly.
And precisely, let’s talk about it…
How to avoid ingrown toenails ?
Yes, you should know: There is a right way and a wrong way to cut your nails.
Especially if you are trying to avoid ingrown toenails!
How to do it
- Use nail scissors instead of traditional nail clippers. First of all, your gesture will be more precise with scissors.
And most importantly, scissors allow you to perfectly follow the curve of the nail.
- Disinfect your scissors before each use.
- Cut your nails after taking a shower or bath. This way, they will be well softened and easier to cut.
- And most important: cut them straight.
This means that you should leave the nail slightly protruding on each side.
Exactly as in the picture above. If the edges are too short, your nails may grow into the flesh.
- Finally, use a nail file to remove any small fragments that could penetrate the skin.
Have you tried these homemade treatments for an ingrown toenail? Tell us in the comments if it worked for you. We can’t wait to hear from you!
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