What Causes an Ingrown Toenail and How to Cure it With Home Remedies

When imagining ingrown toenails, many don’t take them sincerely and often disregard them as something to be discounted. However, if left untreated an ingrown nail can cause unbearable pain and discomfort for the sufferer, and can even become infectious. Whilst commonly occurring on the big toe, ingrown toenails can become apparent on any toe provided there’s cause.

Fortunately, ingrown toenails are a very simple ailment to cure provided you redeem the correct procedures. In fact, this is often their downfall as their ease of curing is what renders many people thinking they’re not meaningful! So if you or a loved one is suffering an ingrown toenail and you’re seeking how to settle it without long-term ramifications, keep reading.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

In basic terms, an ingrown toenail occurs when the corners of a particular nail unwittingly grow down directly into the encompassing nail skin.

Whilst considered relatively easy to treat and remove at home if identified promptly, medical intervention may be required if further entanglements occur.

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Equally prevalent in both males and females, ingrown toenails can be caused by a diversity of different constituents. The most common is simply not knowing how to cut toenails correctly with nail clippers, ending up chopping nails to have sharp angles at either side. Such a straight cutting mode can cause nail edges to delve their way under the skin, hence spawning an ingrown toenail.

However, genetics and overall toenail type can also contribute to what causes an ingrown toenail. Some individuals are just predisposed to developing ingrown toenails due to their genes, and a natural curvaceous nail shape certainly won’t help. Footwear also plays a chief role, as regularly wearing ill-fitting shoes placing consistent pressure on toes will likely direct nail growth in a misguided direction – beneath the skin.

How to Cure Ingrown Toenails

As mentioned, ingrown toenails are pretty effortless to solve from the comfort of home. However, knowing precisely how to get rid of an ingrowing toenail is crucial to ensure you don’t make an unwarranted error as this could impair the entire condition. The first vital step is to receive a confirmed diagnosis if unsure you actually have an ingrown nail. Detectable signs are usually easy to spot, but if uncertain you must seek professional advice before proceeding.

Additionally, you must also authorize whether your ingrown toenail is infected or not. How to cure ingrown toenails solely depends on their rigor, and if symptoms such as secreting pus, swelling and intense redness are present it’s likely its become infectious. If this is the case, achieving relief and cure will require a doctor’s visit.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Provided you’re 100% certain your ingrown nail isn’t infected, you can begin home based ingrown toenail treatment. Regular foot soaks are a key component of treating this malady as they’ll feel soothing and can help coax your nail away from the skin. It’s recommended to immerse your affected foot in warm water for at least 15 minutes 3 times a day, and ensure your toes are completely dry during other periods.

But if you’d prefer a more proactive approach, you can try manually goading your skin apart from your nail edges. A simple scrunched cotton bad or ball will suffice, and requires saturation with pure olive oil. Use it to gently encourage the skin away from the nail and you should start to see results after regular applications.

What Happens if Home Remedies for Ingrown Toe Nail Don’t Work?

If uninfected, the above home remedies for ingrown toe nail should provide positive effects after being utilized for a few weeks. However, if your nail isn’t responding and appears to be worsening, professional input may be necessary.

In severe cases, surgery may be the only effective method of removing the shard of nail notably penetrating your skin. In most cases, only removing a small section of the toe nail is needed. This typically involves slicing both nail sides away from the foot to leave all edges entirely straight. Phenol will then be placed underneath the rest of the nail alongside soft cotton to ensure another ingrown toenail stays away. But if the nail is especially thickened and coarse, full nail eradication may be appropriate.

How to Prevent Ingrowing Toenails

If you’re genetic disposition renders you more likely to develop ingrown toenails, there’s often not much that can be done to prevent them other than surgical procedures. Further medical conditions like diabetes can also increase your chances of developing them, and can cause rife complications if infection develops.

But there are still certain lifestyle changes you can make to significantly reduce your ingrown toenail risk. Firstly, wear shoes that fit! Consistent use of badly sized shoes is almost guaranteed to wreak havoc on your toes and nails, so ensuring to get your feet professionally measured is essential. In addition, adhering to correct toenail clipping techniques is paramount, as well as resisting the temptation to clip them too far.



Article References:

  1. https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ask-the-expert/skin-hair-nails/a3388/how-can-i-relieve-the-pain-of-my-ingrown-toenail/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-cut-toenails
  3. https://www.curvecorrect.com/what-causes-ingrown-toenails/
  4. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2018/06/caring-for-an-infected-or-ingrown-toenail/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/caring-feet#1