An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of the nail become embedded in the surrounding soft tissue. As the nail grows, it grows adjacent to the skin, causing recurring pain. Ingrown toenails are a common condition, but it can sometimes lead to infection if not dealt with promptly. Usually the big toenail is most susceptible to becoming ingrown, but it can also happen with other toes. Most ingrown toenails can be treated at home with relative ease, but if the pain is chronic or if the problem persists, then it is advised that you visit your St. Louis podiatrist to intervene. Individuals who suffer from diabetes also have a higher susceptibility to infections and other complications.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails to Happen? Shoes can cause ingrown toenails. Footwear that has a particularly closed or pointed tip can cause crowding of the toenails. Women who wear high heels also have a proclivity of ingrown toenails. Not only are shoes a possible culprit, but tight fitting socks can also cause ingrown nails. Injury inflicted on the toenail can also cause the nail to grow in different directions, causing the nail to become embedded.
Ingrown Toenail Removal: Soak the affected foot in an Epsom salt solution. The Epsom salt will not only soften the toenail and the surrounding skin, but it can also relieve any inflammation that may be present. You can also drop a few parsley leaves into the water. Parsley offers a bit of a cooling sensation to the Epsom salt solution. Soak the problem foot for about 20 to 30 minutes to thoroughly soften the area. You will find that the nail and skin will become more pliable. Using a small pair of tweezers, lift the embedded nail from the skin. You will only have to lift the toenail a couple of millimeters. The area will probably be too small for you to use a nail clipper on. Using a Q-tip, insert a small piece of sterile gauze right underneath the embedded nail. Release the nail, allowing the nail to rest on the piece of gauze instead of it continuing to dig into the skin. You can then go ahead and wrap the area with a bandage. Over time, this will allow the toenail to redirect its growth pattern. Instead of going into the skin, the nail will continue to grow in one direction. Within a week or two, the toenail should be healed enough to be removed with nail clippers.
Note: We highly recommend visiting your St. Louis ingrown toenail specialist and having your foot problem professionally handled.