Big Toe Ingrown Toenail
A big toe ingrown toenail is by far the most common. From preventing an ingrown toenail to getting rid of it, here’s what you need to know.
Preventing Future Occurrences of Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail can occur at any age and is a common foot issue, especially for the big toe.
To prevent ingrown toenails:
- Wear shoes that aren’t too tight and don’t pinch the toes
- Cut the nails straight across rather than rounded
Some types of nails are more naturally predisposed to getting an ingrown toenail, such as thick toenails or those with a more curved natural shape. In these instances, grooming alone may not be enough to prevent ingrown toenails and appropriate shoes are all the more important.
Treating Your Big Toe Ingrown Toenail
Treating an ingrown toenail immediately is a must! At the first sign of an ingrown toenail, at-home treatments can be effective. But once the ingrown toenail goes past the mild stage, you’ll need medical attention from a podiatrist.
At-home treatments at the first stage of an ingrown toenail:
- Avoid Tight Shoes or Heeled Shoes– These shoes create extra pressure on the toe which can lead to more pain and delay the healing time of the ingrown toenail. Try wearing open-toed shoes without socks or shoes that offer plenty of “wiggle” room.
- Foot Soak– Keep the foot and ingrown nail area clean and bacteria-free by soaking in a mixture of warm water and soap or apple cider vinegar several times a day. Add Epsom salt to soften the foot, helping the toenail separate from the skin around it. Be sure to dry the foot thoroughly after soaking and keep it dry throughout the day.
- Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oils– Create an essential oil rub for the area by combining tea tree and eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic, killing fungus, bacteria, and preventing infection. Eucalyptus oil treats inflammation and pain and can ward off infections, allowing your toe to heal quicker. Apply your carrier oil to a cotton ball, add 2 drops each of tea tree and eucalyptus, and apply to the area.
- Consult a Podiatrist– If you don’t feel comfortable with at-home treatments, or if you are not able to provide these treatments for yourself, consult a podiatrist. And if your ingrown toenail does not seem to get better within a few days, you might go ahead and consult a podiatrist during the initial mild stage.
Treatments for a serious ingrown toenail:
• Consult a Podiatrist- Once your ingrown toenail has reached stage 2 or 3 (moderate or severe), you will need to consult with a podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist can evaluate your toe to determine the medical next steps needed. At-home podiatry visits are available if needed.
Treatments for reoccurring ingrown toenails:
• Recurring ingrown toenails may require surgery. Don’t worry—ingrown toenail surgery is the most common surgery done by podiatrists and is very effective at preventing future ingrown toenails. Get to know the when, why, and how of ingrown toenail surgery.
End the pain and pressure around your toenails by seeking guidance from a podiatrist for the best solution for you!
More info about the treatment: Ingrown Toenail Treatment