Health: How to prevent an ingrown toenail

Health: How to prevent an ingrown toenail

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Frequent risk of infection on the big toe

Ingrown toenails not only cause pain, redness and swelling, in some cases they also lead to an infection that can even become chronic. The big toe is usually affected. The corner of the toenail grows into the adjacent soft flesh, thus causing the discomfort. Doctors give tips on how to deal with ingrown toenails and how to prevent them from coming back.

Ingrown toenails can often be treated well by yourself. Medical experts from the Mayo Clinic explain which factors should be considered when treating yourself and how to avoid re-waxing. However, if the pain is too severe or spread, a doctor should be consulted. There is a higher risk of complications, especially in people with diabetes or with diseases that are associated with poor blood flow.

How does an ingrown toenail express itself?

If a toe hurts along one or both sides of the nail with each touch, the likelihood that the nail has grown into the flesh is high. You can often see this from a reddening around the toenail or from a swelling of the toe. Wearing shoes is often a pain.

What factors favor an ingrown toenail

According to the Mayo team, wearing tight shoes promotes nail ingrowth. Often the toenail is cut too short. Injury to the nail, such as a crack or break, also increases the risk of ingrowth. In addition, the risk is increased for people whose toenails are naturally curved.

How to treat an ingrown nail

As the experts at the Mayo Clinic report, an ingrown toenail can be treated well at home. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Soak the affected foot in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. This reduces swelling and reduces touch sensitivity.
  2. After the bath, slide a piece of cotton or waxed dental floss under the ingrown nail. This helps the nail grow over the edge of the skin.
  3. Apply a disinfectant ointment and bandage the toe.
  4. Repeat the process up to four times a day, each time using a fresh piece of floss or cotton.
  5. Do not wear tight shoes. The most suitable are sandals or shoes that are open at the front.
  6. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can help relieve the pain.

So ingrown nails have no chance

Follow the procedure given above, should the nails grow out of the meat over time. Now, according to the doctors, some things should be observed so that the nail does not grow back. Correct cutting of the toenails is one of the most important prevention options. Many people cut their nails too short and follow the round shape of the ten-point. However, the experts emphasize that you should definitely cut the nails in a straight line so that the corners stay a little longer. The nails should not be shortened to the extent that the meat underneath is visible. In addition, shoes should primarily be worn that do not exert excessive pressure on the toes.

If left untreated, there is a risk of serious damage

The Mayo Clinic's doctors have stated in a message that an untreated ingrown toenail can lead to serious complications in the worst case. For example, foot ulcers, bone infections or necrosis may be required, which require surgery. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: How To Treat An Ingrown Toenail (February 2023).