The most common home remedy for your ingrown toenail is soaking your feet. But what’s the right thing to soak your feet in? Here is everything you need to know about managing your painful toes.
An ingrown toenail can be painful, frustrating, and worrying. Managing it properly can help you prevent further damage to your toe and nail beds.
Diagnosing an Ingrown Toenail
The big toe is the most commonly impacted digit on the feet when it comes to ingrown toenails. It is important to remember that early treatment can often prevent drastic treatment measures later on.
If you are concerned that you have an ingrown toenail, here is what you should look out for:
- Pain and Swelling – The toe pain will be on and around your toenail, and you will feel pressure on top of your toe.
- Skin – Swollen, tender, and hard skin surrounding the toe are all common indicators of something wrong.
- Redness – The skin surrounding your toe and underneath it will be red; pay particular attention to the toenail edges at the corners.
- Bleeding – Cracked and bleeding skin surrounding the toenail is an indication of an ingrown toenail.
- Overgrown skin – Skin growing over your toenail.
- Blisters – Pus-filled blisters on your toe or at the edge of the nail. Another indicator to look out for is pus drainage coming from your toe; this might block the sight of a blister.
- Fungal infection and yellowing – Toenail fungus can cause yellow and thick nails or cracked nails.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you will easily be able to spot it. A quick trip to a foot care specialist will help you diagnose the condition in a worst-case scenario. If there is a severe infection, your doctor might request X-rays to be done to see how deep the toenail curves and grows into the flesh.
Remedies for Ingrown Toenails
There are many practical and safe home remedies for treating your ingrown toenails. The most popular treatment is a foot soak for ingrown toenail management, and many people use epsom salts as the best thing to soak feet in for ingrown toenail treatment.
Treatments for ingrown toenails include:
- Pain relievers – You might need to take painkillers to ease pain and inflammation and reduce swelling while using other treatments for your ingrown toenails.
- Choosing comfortable shoes – Avoid tight, closed-off shoes and rigid fabrics.
- Topical treatments – In some cases where an infection has occurred, your foot specialist might recommend that you apply antibiotic cream to the toe – once the infection has been managed, you will need to assess for further treatments.
- Oral antibiotics – If you are managing a severely infected ingrown toenail, your doctor might treat you with a course of oral antibiotics before other treatment can begin. The infection will need to be dealt with before using other treatments.
- Soaks – The most commonly used treatment for an ingrown toenail is warm foot bath soaks. Regular soaking will help reduce swelling and soften the skin underneath the nail to ease packing and treatment. Soaking your feet can also relieve pain and swelling associated with ingrown toenails.
Here are a few foot soaks for ingrown toenails
Warm soapy water can do the trick
You don’t have to try something ridiculously hard to fix your nails. Something as simple as warm soapy water can help you.
Do this 3 or 4 times a day for about 15-20 minutes. Always dry your feet properly after.
If this doesn’t help, you might try…
Soaking your ingrown toenail in apple cider vinegar
Here is how you can treat an ingrown toenail at home safely.
You will need:
- Epsom salts
- Topical antibiotic cream
- Make sure that your feet are clean.
- Carefully place your foot in a warm bath of warm water mixed with Epsom salts.
- Soak the affected foot for 15 minutes.
- Once the time is up, remove your foot, discard the water, and carefully pat your foot making sure that it is properly dried.
- Check to see whether you can trim the nail back; if you can’t, then don’t cut any of it off.
- If you have an infection, you can apply an antibiotic ointment once you have cleaned the toe area thoroughly and ensured that it is dry.
- You can use a bandaid to cover the edge of the toe if you are wearing open-toed shoes.
- Avoid shoes that are ill-fitting or narrow and wear socks made from natural fibers. Choosing shoes that have enough room for the big toes is an integral part of the healing process.
Note: if you see any signs of infection, seek additional assistance from a podiatrist as soon as possible. Infections can be hard to manage, and packing materials underneath your nail might exacerbate the situation. While home remedies are an excellent solution for minor ingrown nails, it might be best to seek help if it is severely infected or ingrown.
Seeking Help With a Podiatrist
It is important to remember that it is better to speak to a podiatrist and ask for advice and help if you notice any signs of infection. Your foot care specialist will be able to create a treatment plan that suits your lifestyle and condition. Seeking help can save your toenail and time in the healing process. Get in touch with us today at the Foot Specialists of Birmingham.