What are ingrown toenails? Sometimes, nails can grow and curl around the side. So instead of growing straight, they curl and can cut into the skin at the side of your toes. When left untreated, the skin can become quite tender and inflamed. An infection can set in and fluid will accumulate.
Ingrown toenails have a variety of causes. One of the main causes is wearing shoes that are too tight. There is not enough room for nails to spread out normally. Being in such close quarters can cause them to grow and curl.
Keeping toes clipped helps them to stay at a manageable length. It also keeps toenails from curling over the end and causing problems. Shaping nails is just like trimming a bush. The way that you trim them dictates how they will grow. Cutting them straight across is better than rounding the edges which can lead to curling.
Injuries to nails can lead to an ingrown toenail. If the injured nail is not properly handled, it can become ingrown. Repeated sports injuries can lead to ingrown toenails over time.
You may not notice anything out of the ordinary at first. Your first sign may be pain in your toe, usually the big toe. This pain is your warning sign. Take a look at your nail to see if anything unusual is going on.
If you can see the end of the nail, using a clipper to trim it can prevent it from cutting into our skin any deeper. At this point there is no pus forming. As the nail digs deeper, the skin thickens over the ingrown toenail. Pus is present as the body tries to fight the infection.
How can you treat your ingrown toenail? Well, infections can complicate things, and an infection is sure to develop if the problem is not treated. Prevent an infection by keeping your foot clean with soap and Epsom salts to draw out any bacteria.
Avoid wearing high heel shoes or tight-fitting shoes. Try shoes that allow your toes to get air and heal.
Once you notice the sharp part of your toenail is heading towards your skin or even penetrating it a little bit, it is necessary to elevate that nail so that it can be clipped. This will be hard and painful since your skin is already inflamed. Use a piece of gauze to elevate the nail until it grows out enough to cut. Ingrown toenails can be very painful. The best way to deal with them is to keep your nails cut regularly so you can avoid it in the first place.