You rely on your feet every day, and that makes it even worse when they’re hurt in some way. One really painful issue are ingrown toenails. They can pierce the skin, allowing bacteria to enter, and cause infections. If they get very serious, you might need to see a doctor; but in light cases, as with slight pain or irritation, you can treat them at home. These helpful tips give you instant pain relief and help you to avoid this problem in the future.
#1 Warm Salt Bath
Soak your feet for 15 minutes, a few times a day. This will help with the pain and swelling, prevent recurring infections, and soften the toenail, so you can treat it more easily. The best choice is Epsom salt, which also helps the foot muscles to relax.
#2 Antibiotic Ointment
Don’t cut or trim the toenail any further, or pull at the skin; this will likely only make matters worse. Rub your toe with an antibiotic ointment to prevent a serious infection; if this doesn’t work, see a doctor.
#3 Over-the-Counter Medications
For pain relief, you can use over-the-counter medications like Aspirin, Ibuprofen etc. Make sure it’s non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory.
#4 Moist Cotton
When your toenail has softened (see #1), put tiny pieces of moist cotton between the ingrown toenail and the skin. This way, the toenail can grow away from the skin, and will not irritate it further. You can also use clean floss that you have soaked in water or antiseptic cleanser. Be careful not to dig into your toe too much.
#4 Lift the Nail
With a thin and blunt tool, like a small nail file, you can try to lift your nail away from the skin. Be gentle when you do this. Like in #3, this will help to prevent further irritation of the skin and you will be able to see the edge of the nail. Disinfect the file (using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol), and place it under the part of the nail that is not ingrown, then work your way to the ingrown edge.
#5 Wear Fitting Shoes
Make sure that you only wear shoes that fit properly in order to prevent ingrown toenails. It’s best if they are made of soft material and have enough room for the toes. If you have shoes that pinch your toes or press on the sides of your toes, better don’t wear them any more, for the sake of your health.
#7 Trim Correctly
You can prevent ingrown toenails by properly caring for your nails. Always cut your nails straight across, don’t curve the corners. Don’t do it yourself if you have poor blood flow to your feet, instead see a podiatrist.
#8 The Right Length
Don’t cut your toenails too short. If you leave them a little longer, they are less likely to grow into your skin, because then your shoes will put less pressure on them.
#9 Foot Hygiene
Taking good care of your feet is essential for maintaining their health. Regularly take warm, soapy foot baths; remove calluses afterwards, using a pumice stone or an emery board. Carefully push cuticles back and trim them, if necessary. Moisturize the skin of your toes with creams and lotions. If you feel pain or tension in your feet, try massaging them.
#10 Warning Signs
Always be aware of any changes in your feet. Make sure to spot any problems early, from infections and ingrown nails to ulcers or loss of feeling. Foot problems are especially common in people with diabetes. Regularly check your feet to see if anything is wrong.
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