The other name for an ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis, it is one of the most common nail issues, and it can happen to anyone. If you do not take proper care of it, it can be a serious problem.
Some studies say that it affects mostly people between 14 and 25, but it can happen to anyone.
The Cause of Ingrown Toenail
Among the many causes of an ingrown toenail is improper cutting, trauma, thickening of the nail plate, tight-fitting shoes, presence of subungual exostosis, pressure from abutting digits caused by lesser toe deformities, or hallux valgus, and sometimes the use of isotretinoin in treating serious acne.
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Often, it is forgotten that toenail fungus can also be a part of the issue. Most of the time nail fungus happens when fungus goes into the nail through a trauma like a break or cut. Many think that poor hygiene is a cause, but that is not true.
Anyway, if you have an ingrown nail, you need to make sure to keep that area clean. Fortunately, there are numerous ways in which you can treat your ingrown nail naturally.
How to Remove an Ingrown Nail?
An ingrown toenail is an issue in which a toenail grows inside the flesh of a corner of a toe. It is classified into three stages: mild, moderate, and severe.
- Mild – nail fold swelling, edema, pain with pressure, and erythema.
- Moderate – drainage, increased swelling, infection as well as ulceration of the nail fold.
- Severe – chronic inflammation and granulation, and marked nail-fold hypertrophy.
Anyway, you experience swelling, redness, pain, and infection. The big toe is usually affected by this condition. If you feel like your pain is spreading and it is getting more serious, you need to consult your doctor.
Symptoms that will tell you if you have an ingrown toenail:
- Infection of the tissue around your nail
- Pain as well as tenderness in your toe
- Swelling of your toe
So, we offer you six natural treatments for your ingrown toenail. If your nail is in the first stage, there is no need of surgery, although the other stages may require a medical procedure.
1. WASHING OR SOAKING YOUR FOOT
It may be very beneficial in keeping your toe clean if you soak your foot in the warm and soapy water. You should do that 3-4 times per day. Also, you can add some Epsom salt to make the skin of the affected area soft, so you could be able to draw out the toenail.
2. USE CASTILE SOAP
If you do not have enough time to soak your toenail, you can try using a Castile soap and wash your foot 2 times per day. Your foot needs to be clean and dry.
3. USE ACV
ACV is a great natural way to treat your ingrown toenail. For example, you can add ¼ of apple cider vinegar to your water and soak your foot, or you can directly apply it (previously diluted with clean water) to the affected area.
You should know that it will not treat the bacterial infection that is already there, but it has antibacterial characteristics.
4. USE DENTAL FLOSS
This may sound strange, but putting dental floss or cotton wisps under your nail it may help in shifting it to grow in the proper direction. You should try to lift up the nail corner. Form a small roll or wick from cotton or gauze and put it between the nail and the skin.
Or, you can just use a dental floss without flavors because you may experience burning. So, by keeping the nail lifted it may start growing in the right direction. Even though it is not that comfortable, it is effective.
Moreover, you can also push the roll farther in after every soaking. But, you need to change the roll each day and be patient because you need a week or two for your nail to grow out.
5. NO TIGHT SHOES OR HIGH HEELS
There are many women who like high heels, but those who have a problem with an ingrown toenail, need to stay away from them. High heels, as well as tight shoes, may cause more pressure to the affected area. So, sandals are a good option.
6. ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils usually decrease pain and inflammation, and you can make one at home. For example, you can use clove, tea tree oil, rosemary with a carrier oil, Cyprus, and lavender.
Make a good mixture and apply it to the affected area. Instead of meds, this is a natural way that can help you provide a healthy environment for your toenail.
How Can You Cut an Ingrown Toenail?
This one is not that easy, and it needs you to be careful, and sometimes it requires help.
- Soak your foot in warm water with Epsom salt or Castile soap. Keep it 20 mins.
- Make sure for your fingers to be clean and push back the swollen skin. Do not force it more than you feel your swollen skin lets you.
- Cut the nail straight across. Start from the sides, not the middle.
- Place cotton roll between the nail and the skin, so your nail would grow in the right direction.
- Apply your homemade essential oil, and then, bandage it.
- While you are at home, do not wear socks. Wear shoes that allow air to go through it.
- Change the cotton at least once per day.
Here is a recipe that you can make at home in order to treat your ingrown toenail.
You will need:
- Two ounces of coconut oil
- Two ounces of aloe vera gel
- Two drops of peppermint oil
- Five drops of eucalyptus oil
- Five drops of tea tree oil
- One drop of oregano oil
- Five drops of lavender oil
Preparation and use:
Take a jar with a tight-fitting lid and put the ingredients inside. Use a small spoon to mix the ingredients. Them, after you have washed your toe, apply the remedy to it. If you can, let it dry naturally. If you cannot, use bandages.
But, please, use loose-fitting shoes. Do this 2-3 times per day, and make sure to keep your hands clean. Do not touch your eyes because oregano may give you a burning sensation. It is very important to follow the instructions and use coconut oil as a carrier.