Ingrown toenail home treatment should be easy with simple at-home DIY pedicure tips. Here’s how to treat an infected ingrown toenail at home. These tips will also help you if your kids suffer from this problem and you don’t want to consider surgery.
If you have ever suffered – or are experiencing – from an ingrown toenail, then you know it is no fun at all. This article is intended to not only explain how to treat ingrown toenail at home to prevent infection and ensure quick healing but also how to tell if you are dealing with a case of infection and the appropriate measures to take in such a case.
Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment
A painful, swollen toenail can leave you wondering what ingrown toenail home treatment options are available. Well, there are high chances that your ingrown toenail will heal in as low as 3 days with a simple home treatment using warm, soapy water as follows:
- In a small basin of warm water, pour enough powder soap to make a soapy solution. An ordinary bathing soap will as well work fine.
- Soak the affected toe (or the whole foot for that matter) into the soapy solution for 10-20 minutes to soften the skin fold surrounding the toenail.
- If you have some olive oil, apply some few drops on the affected toenail (also to soften it), but if not just do away with it.
- Push the skin fold covering the affected area of the toenail downwards and away from the toenail gently all along the toenail using a clean cotton bud.
- Once done, lift the toenail slightly and slip in a small ball of cotton wool to keep it lifted away from the underlying skin. A dental floss will as well do the trick. Whatever you use as your wedge, replace it every few hours to keep the area clean and avoid infection.
- Repeat the whole procedure 2 or 3 times each day until the ingrown toenail has gone. This typically takes less than 3 days.
- You may as well want to take some painkillers to relieve the pain. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (commonly sold under brand names such as Advil and Motrin) are some good option.
While undergoing this ingrown toenail home treatment, it is advisable to wear shoes and socks that place as minimal pressure on the toes as possible.
Open-toed shoes and sandals are good options but if it not possible to wear such shoes – maybe your workplace code of conduct doesn’t allow you – consider taking your shoes off as frequently as is possible even if for just a short moment of relief.
If the ingrown toenail doesn’t seem to get a relief 3 days after starting this treatment however, you should discontinue it and instead seek the attention of your doctor or a podiatrist (a medical professional who specializes on diseases and conditions affecting the feet). Surgery to remove a part or the whole of the toenail may be required for some cases of ingrown toenail and you could be a candidate.
Although this treatment is usually effective, you shouldn’t go for it if you have any signs of infection as explained in a subsequent section of this article. You should also avoid self-treatment if you are diabetic or have problems related to the nervous or circulatory systems. This is because such people are at higher risks of developing complications, including those that could lead to loss of limbs, as the WebMD website points out.
How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail at Home Naturally
The other day, someone requested us to explain how to treat an ingrown toenail at home naturally. Well, if you will agree with me, the “warm soapy water soak” treatment described in the previous section is as natural as they come.
Soaking the affected toe in warm, soapy water helps to not only clean it but also soften the skin and tissues surrounding the toenail so that it can the toenail can easily be directed to grow over the skin rather than embedded into it (using the wedge-like cotton wool mass or a dental floss).
Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment Infection
Before we even go into the treatment options for infected toenail, it is perhaps in order to highlight some of the symptoms of infected ingrown toenail and these include pulsating and increasing pain in the affected toe, redness that seem to be spreading as to cover increasingly larger area of the skin, increasing swelling and tenderness, and discharge of pus (yellow-green fluid that is often foul-smelling. In some severe cases, you may experience fever and chills.
Now coming back to ingrown toenail home treatment for infection, you shouldn’t treat an infected ingrown toenail yourself. Instead seek the attention of your doctor or any other qualified health professional.
Antibiotics are normally required for treatment of cases of infection and (depending on your particular case and medical history) the doctor may prescribe topical antibiotic ointment (or cream) such as Neosporin or a round of oral antibiotics such as Di/flucloxacillin, Clindamycin, Acyclovir and Cephalexin.
Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment for Kids
Kids can as well ail from ingrown toenails. Kids’ feet grow relatively faster and if the shoes are not changed at the same pace, they could crowd the toes together leading to cases of ingrown toenails. Injury e.g. stubbing, fungal infection and genetics can also play a part in the development of this common toenail condition in children.
So, what about ingrown toenail home treatment for kids? Well, just as the causes are the same for the adults, the approach to treatment is as well the same. That is to say that the “warm, soapy water soak” treatment described in a previous segment of this guide will work just fine for your little angel.
An important caution to keep in mind however is that children aged below 16 years should not use aspirin. This is because aspirin has been shown to be a potential trigger for a rare condition referred to as Reye’s condition which is nonetheless fatal.