Ingrown toenail: causes and treatments
Nobody likes the feeling of pain and discomfort caused by the condition of the nails. Nevertheless, a large number of people are faced with this negative phenomenon. Let's talk today about ingrown nails, and how to deal with such a problem.
What is an ingrown toenail
Skin and nails are made up of a protein called keratin. Nails are formed as dense layers of keratinized cells are “pushed out” onto the surface of the finger. The relief of the surface of the nail completely coincides with the relief under your nails. This helps nails stay in place. As the shape of the nail changes, it becomes harder to maintain a "bond" with the hypochinium, which acts as a protective shield underneath your nails. This can cause the nail to grow out to the sides or corners of your skin. This causes skin to grow over the nail, hence the name ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenail symptoms:
- More sensitive skin
- Changing the color of the nail
- The appearance of pus around the skin
- Inflammation and "bump" under the skin
Causes of an ingrown toenail
A common cause of an ingrown toenail is improper trimming of the nails. Nevertheless, there are many other reasons that can provoke the appearance of ingrown nails. If we talk about toenails, then often the cause can be even elementary badly matched shoes. Also, you are more at risk of ingrown nails if you are a fan of long claws. Over time, such a nail begins to acquire a natural bend and thereby breaking the “adhesion” to the hypochinia under the nail. Trauma to the nail or damage to the skin around it can also lead to an ingrown nail. Sometimes heredity also plays a role in your susceptibility to ingrown toenails. But, as I mentioned earlier, the most common cause of an ingrown toenail is shortening them incorrectly.
An interesting feature is also that pregnant women and children are more prone to ingrown nails.
Ingrown toenail treatment
It is quite possible to cure an ingrown toenail at home. Of course, this process takes time and patience, but the result is worth it. If the nail is not infected, then one of the most common and effective home remedies is to take a cotton pad or regular dental floss and place it under the nail.
This will separate the nail from the skin it is growing into. You can use a bandage or band-aid to keep your life-saving structure in place :)
To aid the healing process and relieve pain or discomfort, you can soak your ingrown toenail in warm water several times a day. The rest of the time, keep the area clean and dry. Also, I advise you to apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the ingrown site, because it will prevent the onset of infection and “dry” the affected area a little. In rare cases, doctors advise taking painkillers if you really feel the need for it.
When to Seek Medical Care
Home treatment for ingrown toenails is a convenient and easy option. However, there are some conditions that it is important to seek the advice of a medical specialist if detected:
- If you suffer from diabetes
- If pus or white fluid builds up underneath and around the nails
- If the infection spreads along the entire length of the finger
- If symptoms of an ingrown toenail persist for more than a week
How to prevent an ingrown toenail
Healthy and clean nails are the only guarantee against ingrown nails. Following certain rules can help you prevent infections and ingrown nails: You can:
- Clean your nails every day and dry it properly
- Give preference to filing nails (especially since there are now many wonderful devices that greatly simplify this procedure, such as diamond nail files)
- Moisturize your nails. Apply moisturizer or hand lotion more often
It is forbidden:
- biting nails
- Do not handle cuticles
- Biting off or pulling out hangnails
- Neglect hand hygiene
Ingrown toenails are usually not a serious problem and can be easily managed at home. But do not let everything take its course, because nails are an indicator of the internal well-being of the human body. Cleanliness and proper care will keep them healthy and attractive.