Ingrown toenails can cause extensive discomfort and pain. Without treatment, an infection can develop and lead to further problems. Fortunately, several methods are available for treating ingrown toenails, many of which can be performed at home. The skilled podiatry team at Affiliates in Podiatry in Concord and Meredith NH can recommend specific ingrown toenail treatments that you can do at home.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows too close to the skin and presses against it. The pressure of the toenail squeezing against the skin can cause swelling, redness, and discomfort. It is more common for ingrown toenails to develop on the big toes rather than the smaller ones. Some common causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Curving or angling the nails rather than trimming them straight across
- Trimming the toenails too short or too close to the skin
- Wearing shoes or socks that are too tight
- A fungal infection on the toes or feet
- An injury to the toes or feet
There are several ways to treat Concord ingrown toenails at home. Some steps you can take to ease the discomfort of an ingrown toenail, prevent an infection from developing, or treat the ingrown nail include:
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers for pain or discomfort
- Applying anti-fungal or antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
- Soaking the feet in warm water several times a day to soften the nail so it can be trimmed away from the skin
- Massaging the toenail while soaking in water to reduce inflammation
- Placing cotton or waxed dental floss beneath the ingrown nail after soaking to help the nail grow above the skin
- Wearing sandals or loose-fitting socks and shoes until the nail heals
At-home treatments can provide relief from the pain and discomfort of an ingrown toenail. However, if pain and inflammation persist even after implementing at-home remedies, see one of the skilled podiatrists at our office in Concord and Meredith NH. Various treatments for ingrown toenails can be discussed.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
There are some steps you can take to prevent ingrown toenails from developing. One of the best ways to prevent them is to trim the nails straight across. Giving toenails a rounded edge when trimming can cause them to grow too close to the skin on the sides of the toes. It is also best not to trim nails too short. When they are cut too close to the skin at the tops of the toes, the nails are more likely to grow back too close.
Wearing socks and shoes that fit properly and are not too tight is another easy way to prevent ingrown nails. Narrow or tight-fitting footwear can put pressure on the toes and cause the nails to become ingrown. Finally, since fungal infections can cause ingrown nails to develop, keeping the toes and feet clean and dry can prevent Concord ingrown toenails by reducing the risk of infection.
At-home treatments are quite effective in providing relief from the inflammation, pain, and discomfort associated with ingrown toenails. Professional treatments are also available when at-home remedies have not fully resolved the problem. For help treating and preventing ingrown toenails, call Affiliates in Podiatry in Concord NH at (603) 225-5281. Appointments are also available at our office in Meredith NH by calling (603) 279-0330.