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Ingrown toenails are a common problem that can cause pain and discomfort.
They occur when the toenail grows into the skin, causing an infection. Treatment involves trimming the toenail and keeping the area clean and dry. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the toenail.
If you have an ingrown toenail, you may experience pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the affected toe. You may also notice pus or drainage from the affected area. Ingrown toenails often occur on the big toe.
Several factors that can cause ingrown toenails:
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Trauma to the nail
- Poor hygiene
- Fungal infections
Ingrown toenails are more common in people with diabetes, circulation problems, or a history of foot injuries.
Treatment for ingrown toenails often begins with conservative measures, such as soaking the affected foot in warm water and wearing loose-fitting shoes. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if there is evidence of infection.
If conservative measures fail to improve the condition, surgery may be necessary to remove it. Surgery is typically a last resort option and is only considered when other treatments have failed. If you have an ingrown toenail, it’s important to see your doctor so that the condition can be properly treated. Left untreated, ingrown toenails can lead to serious complications, such as infection and bone loss.
Surgery to remove this may be a simple procedure that can be performed in a doctor’s office or outpatient setting. The recovery time is usually short, and most people can return to their normal activities within a few days.
How to heal ingrown toenails:
If you have an ingrown toenail, it’s important to take care of it right away. If you don’t, the problem can get worse and might lead to an infection.
There are a few things you can do at home to help an ingrown toenail heal:
1. Soak your foot in warm water for 20 minutes a few times a day. This will help reduce swelling and pain.
2. Put a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel on the affected toe. This will help reduce inflammation.
3. Gently massage the area around the ingrown nail with mild soap. This will help loosen the skin and allow the nail to grow out properly.
4. Place a bandage on the toe to protect it from further irritation.
If home remedies don’t seem to be helping, or if you have signs of infection (redness, swelling, pus), see your doctor. They may prescribe antibiotics or recommend that the ingrown nail be removed surgically.
Some people may be more prone to developing ingrown toenails due to genetics. If you have relatives who suffer from this condition, you may be more likely to get it as well. However, anyone can develop these regardless of family history. While genetics may play a role, there are other factors that can increase your risk, such as poor foot hygiene and wearing shoes that are too tight.
If you think you may be at risk for ingrown toenails, talk to your doctor. They can help you take steps to prevent the condition from developing, such as wearing shoes that fit properly and taking care of your feet.