How many times have you stabbed that little pinky in your feet against the door or side of the bed?
Several, isn’t it?
What if you feel the similar kind of a pain in your toenails without even stabbing it?
The intensity of pain is almost similar in the case of an ingrown toenail. This kind of condition is not just painful but dangerous too because it inflicts threats of infection if left untreated.
This is the primary reason why ingrown toenail removal is a necessity.
If you have been consistently suffering from similar situations, sit back and read this article which has been developed in a way to inculcate all the necessary details that one would need to know in order to get rid of an ingrown toenail.
What is An Ingrown Toenail and It’s Stages?
An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the edges of your nails on your feet, especially your toenail, tend to grow into the skin beside the nail itself.
The treatment for ingrown toenail can easily be carried out at home but the same needs intensive care when the condition gets worse and starts to showcase signs of infection.
If you are pondering how to detect if or not the ingrown toenail is infected, it is the appearance of it that will easily give it away.
Majority of the time, an infected ingrown toenail is filled with pus which tends to ooze out along with blood and tissues. The pain, at times, is unbearable which is yet another significant symptom that your ingrown toenail is in its last stage and needs immediate medical attention.
As per medical terms, an ingrown toenail has three distinct stages (R):
- The first stage of an ingrown toenail is signified by the initial inflammation around the toe along with redness and initial accumulation of fluid around the nail.
- The second stage is significant for an infected ingrown toenail and is characterized by heightened pain around the toenail along with the discharge of the accumulated pus and fluid which results in spreading of the bacteria.
- The final stage of an ingrown toenail is when the hypertrophic tissue starts to develop around the infected ingrown toenail and is primarily the result of neglecting the situation rather than seeking medical attention.
Diagnosis of an ingrown toenail is mainly done via physical examination. Even at home, if you feel like your toenail is digging into the skin around the perimeter of it, there are chances that you are suffering from ingrown toenail and the same needs immediate treatment to relieve the symptoms, especially the pain and possible infection.
Many times, the doctors even tend to do an x-ray to diagnose the severity of the situation and how far the toenail has dug into the skin. The x-ray also helps understand the cause of the problem, if it was caused because of an accident or naturally.
How to Get Rid of An Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails often times are hard to get rid of at home which is why it is best to consult a doctor in situations like those. But, if the situation is not that severe, there are chances that you can remove an ingrown toenail yourself.
If you are looking for easy ways to fix an ingrown toenail permanently, you have stumbled across the correct place.
- Cut your nails proper and uniformly, making sure that there are no crooked ends
- Clean your toenails on a regular basis to get rid of the accumulated dirt in the nooks and crevices of the toenail
- Soak your feet in warm water to help relieve the pain that comes with an ingrown toenail. This also helps with the accumulated pus or fluid in the infected area
- Use medicated powder to help kill the bacterial infestation in the infected ingrown toenail
- Consult a professional for the treatment for ingrown toenail infection
Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenail
Home remedies are a great alternative if you are looking for natural ways to treat an ingrown toenail. They impose little to no side effects and help heal the infected toenail and bring it back to normal.
If you suffer from diabetes or simply just any kind of disease that restricts the normal circulation of blood, it is necessary to pay extra attention to ingrown toenail removal because the same can be quite threatening for their condition.
1. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an amazing remedy to remove an ingrown toenail yourself. It helps soften the hardened skin around the toenail and also helps in sterilizing the infection that is the sole reason behind the pain in the area.
- Pour some alcohol onto a cotton ball and dab that over the ingrown toenail.
- Repeat this process multiple times throughout the day.
Once you feel like the skin around the toenail has softened quite a bit, file the toenail carefully and get rid of the excess that has grown into the skin.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is loaded with anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which makes it one of the best remedies to get rid of an ingrown toenail. The slight hydrating and moisturizing properties of aloe vera helps soften the toenail which makes it easier for the ingrown toenail home removal.
- Apply a generous amount of aloe vera gel over the infected ingrown toenail and secure it with a bandage if need be.
- Do this thrice or four times a day for better results
Not only as the healing properties, aloe vera also helps in ensuring the growth of the toenail in the correct direction.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
Apple cider vinegar has an impactful presence in the treatment of ingrown toenail because of its pronounced anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and pain relieving properties. Even with the pronounced results that many people have actually experienced, there are no specific scientific explanations as to how the same works for ingrown toenail removal.
- Fill a basin with water where you can soak your feet
- Add about half a cup of apple cider vinegar and pour it in the basin
- Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes
- File away the dirt and dead skin cells from around the toenail using a filer
- Wash it off and pat dry your feet with a towel
This helps fight the bacterial growth in the infected ingrown toenail and provides with simultaneous pain relief for ingrown toenail as well.
4. Vapor Rub
If you have only been using vapor rub for its conventional uses, it is time to step back and think again. Vapor rub has a number of alternative uses, the treatment for ingrown toenail being one of them. The menthol helps in providing the pain around the area with relief and a soothing feeling.
- Apply a generous amount of vapor rub on your toenail and let it soak into the skin.
- Repeat this process twice or thrice a day
The vapor rub also helps soften and moisturize the skin which helps you cut out the ingrown toenail with ease, thus ensuring pain relief for the ingrown toenail.
5. Dental Floss
If you are looking for effective ways to promote the growth of toenail over the skin edge and not into them, the dental floss is an amazing way to do so. It helps prevent the toenail from digging further into the skin, thereby ensuring to treat an ingrown toenail at home.
- Soak your feet in warm water to soften the skin in and around the toenail
- Put a fresh piece of waxed dental floss under the ingrown edge of the toenail
- Repeat this process multiple times a day and ensure to use fresh floss every single time
The dental floss helps pose an obstruction to the further growth of the nail into the skin, thereby ensuring the easy ingrown toenail removal.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut is loaded with beneficial medicinal acidic compounds like that of lauric and caprylic acid. Not just that, even the presence of medium chain fatty acids helps in providing moisturisation to the skin around the toenail.
- Take a good amount of coconut oil in your palm and apply it over and around the ingrown toenail
- Repeat this process twice a day
It is the anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-bacterial properties of the coconut oil that helps in the treatment for an ingrown toenail.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the best natural ways to treat an ingrown toenail, if not the best. It is loaded with amazing anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties which help in not just the pain relief of the ingrown toenail but also aids in curing it altogether.
- Mix two tablespoons of baking soda to one tablespoon of water to make a thick paste
- Apply this over the affected area of the toenail and cover it with a bandage
- Leave it on for a few hours and wash it off completely
- Repeat this process twice daily
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of baking soda help prevent the impending growth of the bacteria or fungus in the infected part of the ingrown toenail.
8. Epsom Salt
Yet another amazing way of ingrown toenail removal is through the use of Epsom salt soak. This helps in drawing out the pain from around the toenail and also helps fight the growth of bacteria or fungus that could possibly cause infection.
- Fill a basin with water and block the drain
- Add two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt in the water and mix it thoroughly
- Soak your feet in that for 15-20 minutes
The high content of magnesium in Epsom salt helps in relieving the inflammation around the area of the toenail and helps avoid possibilities of infection.
Garlic is loaded with anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties which comes a lot in handy in the treatment for an ingrown toenail. It helps ensure the prevention of further spreading of the infection which adds to the progress in the process of ingrown toenail removal.
- Crush a few cloves of garlic and make them into a fine paste
- Apply this over the ingrown toenail and cover it with a bandage
- Leave it overnight and repeat this process every day before going to sleep
The constituent, allicin, which is present in garlic helps alleviate the pain in the affected area and helps treat the inflammation effectively. It helps in perishing the infesting bacterial growth in the area which further comes in handy to treat an ingrown toenail at home.
Ginger is an amazing remedy for the treatment of ingrown toenail. It is loaded with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which promote the process of ingrown toenail removal with flair and ease. It is best to use this as a remedy along with cayenne pepper and sesame oil.
- Crush a small piece of ginger and make it into a paste
- Add a few drops of sesame oil and cayenne pepper into the paste and mix well
- Apply this over the toenail and leave it on for 10-15 minutes
- Wash it off thoroughly to ensure that there are no remnants of ginger or cayenne pepper in the toenail
The sesame oil helps moisturize the skin while the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cayenne and ginger help in providing pain relief for an ingrown toenail.
Turmeric is an age-old remedy for the treatment of a number of health issues. The amazing anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties help prevent the growth of bacteria or any other microbes in the infected area of the ingrown nail to make it even worse.
- Take two tablespoons of turmeric powder and mix it with one tablespoon of water to make a thick and smooth paste
- Apply this over the ingrown toenail and leave it on for 1-2 hours
- Wash it off under running water after that
- Repeat this two to three times a day for effective results
It is believed that it is the presence of the compound Curcumin in the turmeric imposes its anti-inflammatory along with anti-bacterial properties which is what help to get rid of an ingrown toenail.
The condition of ingrown toenail degrades when the normal growth of toenail is disrupted and it gets infected because of bacterial and viral infestation. Lemon helps in reacting and fighting both the problems.
- Extract the juice of one lemon
- Dip a piece of cotton in it and dab it all over the ingrown toenail and cover it with a bandage or gauge
- Leave it overnight and wash away the next morning
- Repeat this once a day till the symptoms completely fade away
Lemon juice is acidic which helps in prohibiting the excess growth of bacteria. Not just that, it is also imbibed with mild anti-fungal properties which helps in fighting any kind of fungal growth around the ingrown toenail.
Onions are one of the most sought after natural ways to treat an ingrown toenail because of its amazing properties. It is rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties which prohibit the ingrown toenail from further getting infected which makes the situation even worse.
- Peel an onion and cut a piece from it
- Gently rub it over the ingrown nail and cover the area with a bandage
- Leave it overnight and repeat the process daily once before bed
The onions has a constituent known as allicepin which is said to have antifungal properties which help in ensuring to avoid any kind of fungal growth in the ingrown toenail. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also play a crucial role to fix an ingrown toenail permanently.
14. Hydrogen Peroxide
If you weren’t aware before, hydrogen peroxide is treated as a natural disinfectant for the treatment of wounds and cuts. This antiseptic property is exactly what comes in handy in the treatment for ingrown toenail infection. It prevents the spreading of the infection and arrests it which helps cure the issues gradually.
- Fill a bucket halfway with warm water
- Add half a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide into the water
- Soak your feet in it for 15-20 minutes
- Repeat this twice or thrice every day
It is believed that the antibacterial and antifungal properties of hydrogen peroxide are what helps in treating the infected ingrown toenail and gets rid of the condition for good. It also softens the area around the toenail which further aids in getting rid of the accumulated dirt and dead skin around the area.
Listerine is jam packed with a number of properties that play a significant role in ingrown toenail removal. It is enriched with amazing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties along with the presence of constituents like menthol, eucalyptol etc. Which have proven soothing effects on the area of the ingrown toenail.
- Mix equal quantities of Listerine and water in a bowl
- Dip a cotton ball into it and rub it over the ingrown toenail with gentle strokes
- Repeat this process twice or thrice daily
Listerine helps keep the toenail clean and devoid of any kind of microbial infestations which is what makes it one of the best natural ways to treat an ingrown toenail.
16. Essential Oils
Essential oils are yet another amazing remedy for the treatment of ingrown toenail that actually does work wonders. There are several varieties of essential oils that are used for the treatment of ingrown toenail. They are rich in anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help to ensure the prevention of further spreading of the infection inducing bacteria or fungi.
These essential oils are also very beneficial in the providing with pain relief for an ingrown toenail. if you have been in search of an effective remedy to fix an ingrown toenail permanently, the essential oils are the way to go. It helps to rejuvenate the dead skin cells in the area surrounding the toenail all the while ensuring to moisturize it as well.
Some of the most commonly used essential oils for ingrown toenail include:
- Tea tree oil
- Lavender oil
- Peppermint oil
- Oregano oil
How to Cut an Ingrown Toenail?
In order to prevent the recurrence of an ingrown toenail, it is necessary to trim it properly and precisely. Cutting ingrown toenail can sometimes be a bit of a challenge which is why it is always best to follow the strict guidelines for a painless trim around the affected ingrown toenail.
Soak your feet in a tub of warm water and Epsom salt to help soften the skin around the toenail and the skin it has dug into. It helps relieve the pressure around the nail and helps you to be able to cut it easily.
Trim the toenail, ensuring to cut it in a straight line and not in a rounded fashion because that tends to dig into the skin easily. Next, use any nail tool to get rid of the accumulated dirt and dead skin cells in and around the toenail and cleanse the area.
Get a small piece of cotton and use some tweezers to place that under the area of the toenail that has ingrown. Don’t overdo the same and gently push the cotton in. This will create a safe distance in between the nail and the skin and prevent it from digging into the skin again.
Apply some cream or moisturizer to keep the skin around the area soft and also to help alleviate the pain that accompanies the ingrown toenail removal.
What Causes Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails can affect any individual – both men and women. According to expert reports, it is suggested that people with sweaty feet are the ones mostly at risk with an ingrown toenail. Even ageing is a very common cause for ingrown toenail because of the fact that the toenails become thicker with age.
Some of the common causes of an ingrown toenail include:
- Irregular cutting of toenails, primarily cutting them in rounded shapes
- Tight footwear that imposes pressure on the toenails
- Stabbing your toenail against any solid object
- A sudden injury to the toenails
- Lack of proper foot hygiene
What are the Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails?
The symptoms for ingrown toenails are primarily characterized by the stages involved in it. While the symptoms in the early stages might be preliminary and not that severe, the same can definitely cause havoc if it is left untreated.
Early stage symptoms:
- Slight inflammation around the toenail
- Tenderness around the affected area
- Accumulation of fluid
Advanced stage symptoms (infection):
- Red and inflamed skin
- Extreme pain when the toenail is pressed
- Occasional bleeding
- Pus formation and oozing as well
- Overgrowth of skin around the area
How to Prevent Ingrown Toenail?
Now that we have also covered all the important and necessary points regarding the ingrown toenail, let us focus on the methods of prevention that can ensure that the painful situation of ingrown toenail removal doesn’t even arise in the first place.
Some of the common ways of prevention of ingrown toenail include:
- Always trim the toenails straight and not curved
- Maintain proper healthy foot hygiene
- Get pedicure done every month or every two weeks
- Wear correctly fitted shoes, try not to wear high heels or tight shoes. They may cause high pressure as well as a delay in healing the affected area. You can use sandals instead, which can be highly helpful. It will also provide freedom to the nails to grow in a proper way without causing any problem.
- If your toenails are generally thick and curved, it is best to consult a physician to get the problem checked
When to See A Doctor for an Ingrown Toenail?
Ingrown toenails can easily be healed with the common preventive methods and home remedies if it is diagnosed in the preliminary stages but the same can leave negative effects, if left untreated for a long time, with expectations of it healing naturally.
On normal grounds, it has been seen that an ingrown toenail can take about two weeks to a month to completely heal. The process of healing and recovery completely depends on the kind of remedy administered and the stage of the ingrown toenail that it has been diagnosed in.
If you are finding your toenail in extreme pain accompanied with the loss of blood and oozing out of the accumulated pus and fluid, it is most likely time to consult a doctor and get the problem checked. If situations like these persist, there are chances that you might even need a surgery to get the problem fixed.
Ingrown toenails can be the resultant of a number of reasons and the same can inflict a number of problems as well, if the condition is sidetracked and not paid attention to. If you are looking for easy ingrown toenail removal home remedies, we have covered almost everything there is to cover. If you are still finding yourself in a pickle, it is always best to consult a doctor for it and get the problem checked as soon as possible.