Prevention of an ingrown toenail is always the best medicine. But what if you already have an ingrown toenail? Let’s explore how to stop an ingrown toenail—both preventing and treating.
Preventing an Ingrown Toenail
Knowing the common causes of ingrown toenail can stop you from ever getting one. Some of the common causes can be avoided.
- Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight
Pointed-toe shoes or high heels can push your toes into a narrow and tight position in the shoe. This pressure pushes the toenail into the skin around it, leading to ingrown toenail.
- Avoid cutting nails incorrectly
Toenails should generally be cut straight across rather than rounded at the edges. When cut straight across, this prevents the nail from growing into the soft skin around the toenail.
- Avoid preventable injury to the toe or nail
Always wear shoes that cover the toes when moving heavy objects, doing yardwork, or playing sports. In fact, doing almost any activity could lead to a toe injury if your toes are not properly covered.
Treating an Ingrown Toenail
If you experience any slight pain, redness, or swelling around any toenail, this could be the first sign of an ingrown toenail. Treating an ingrown toenail at the first sign of discomfort is the most effective way of stopping an ingrown toenail.
Treating at the first sign of ingrown toenail can be done with at-home treatments or by seeing a podiatrist.
Treating with home remedies
Immediately begin wearing open-toed shoes or shoes with plenty of wiggle room, moisturise the affected toe, soak the foot daily in warm salty water, and keep the foot clean and dry.
These home treatments will eliminate additional pressure around the toe, reduce inflammation and bacteria, and soften the skin around the toenail to create space between the two.
Seeing a podiatrist for treatment
See a podiatrist immediately if you feel uncomfortable applying your own at-home treatments, if your home remedies are not eliminating the pain or redness, if the pain, redness, or swelling has increased, or if you have experienced recurring ingrown toenails.
Home remedies have been successful in stopping an ingrown toenail, but if you are at all worried that home treatments won’t be as effective, or you are uncomfortable with these for any reason, a podiatrist can offer immediate treatments. Treating an ingrown toenail at the mild stage can be simple and quick. Once an ingrown toenail has moved to the moderate or severe stage, treatment can be more invasive. Explore the stages of ingrown toenails for more details.
If you find that you continue to get ingrown toenails again and again even with preventative measures, a podiatrist can evaluate the shape and thickness of your toenail and determine effective treatments for eliminating ingrown toenails for good.
Ingrown toenails are a common occurrence. Take steps to prevent an ingrown toenail. And to stop an ingrown toenail quickly and easily, take immediate action to apply home remedies or consult a podiatrist for immediate treatments.