Living with diabetes requires careful management, and one aspect that often gets overlooked is foot…
Incidents of ing toenails are quite common, primarily affecting the big toe. This condition typically occurs in teenagers and adults aged 20 to 40. Medically, it goes by the names onychocryptosis and unguis incarnatus.
To effectively treat an ingrown toenail, it is crucial to understand the underlying issue. Determining the severity of the ingrown nail is the first step, and in mild cases, self-treatment is often sufficient.
For a mildly ingrown nail, the following steps can be followed:
- Disinfect all tools such as nail clippers, tweezers, cuticle sticks, and pedicure tools using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Let them dry completely.
- Soak your foot in warm water for 10 to 30 minutes to soften the nail and skin. Adding Epsom salt, tea tree oil, or other disinfecting essential oils to the footbath can be beneficial. We suggest the Elim Spa Additive with all the disinfectants you need.
- Thoroughly dry your foot and toes using a soft towel.
- Gently massage the skin surrounding the ingrown toenail, even if it feels uncomfortable.
- Use a nail file or cuticle stick to gently scrape the skin at the sides of the nail, removing any dead skin cells.
- If the nail hasn’t completely curled over or into the skin, you can try to unroll it using your fingernail or a cuticle stick.
- Before and after touching your feet, wash your hands and clean under your fingernails properly. Use the Elim Spa Sanitizer to disinfect your hands and tools.
- Carefully raise the edge of the toenail and place a small piece of cotton under it to encourage growth in a different direction, away from the skin or nail bed.
- You may also opt for the Elim Toenail Straightener. It is a straightening tool that lifts the nail from two sides.
- Opt for open-toed shoes or shoes with a wide toe box.
- Monitor the growth of your nail and replace the cotton as needed.
For a more severe ingrown nail, if there is no sign of infection in the surrounding area, the following steps can be taken:
- Cut your toenail straight across using toenail clippers, ensuring you leave at least 1 to 2 millimeters of the white nail end, allowing space for your fingernail to fit underneath.
- Use tweezers to gently insert a tiny piece of cotton or gauze into the corner of the ingrown toenail, creating a gap between the nail and the skin.
- Trim away the visible nail corner or ingrown spur to relieve pressure and alleviate pain. Precision toenail clippers or podiatrist-grade clippers are recommended for convenience.
- Cleanse the area using tea tree oil or any other disinfectant.
- Continue wearing open-toed or wide-toed shoes.
- Consider purchasing precision toenail clippers online for easier trimming.
In cases where professional intervention is required, a doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or podiatrist can perform a minor procedure or surgery to treat the ingrown nail. Typically, the toe or foot is numbed with an injection, and the skin above the ingrown nail is removed using a scalpel. Partial or complete removal of the ingrown nail section follows. During the procedure, you may experience some pain due to the injection.
For individuals who frequently experience ingrown nails, surgical options may involve the use of a laser or chemical procedure to permanently remove a portion of the nail bed, preventing excessive growth.
Ensuring proper aftercare is essential post-surgery to promote healing and prevent infection. After the surgery, the following measures may need to be taken:
- Use antibiotics as prescribed.
- Take pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as needed.
- Apply antibiotic cream to the area twice a day or more.
- If necessary, utilize numbing cream or anti-inflammatory cream.
- Keep the area clean and dry.
- Choose loose or open-toed shoes or sandals to minimize discomfort.
- Change the dressing on the toe as required.
- Seek a dressing change from a doctor or nurse, if necessary.
- Attend follow-up appointments with your doctor.
- Avoid excessive walking, jogging, or running for two to four weeks following the surgery.
- Follow a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables to facilitate proper healing, and refrain from smoking.
- Prior to surgery, address any fungal nail infection by taking antifungal medication or applying a medicated cream.
Taking certain precautions while cutting your toenails can help prevent the occurrence of ingrown nails. Here are some tips to consider:
- Refrain from peeling or picking at your toenails.
- Cut your toenails straight across or in a shallow oval shape.
- Avoid cutting your nails too short; ensure the top white part is still visible.
- Do not create over-rounded or angled edges, resembling a V-shape.
- To avoid cutting them excessively, file your toenails instead of clipping them.
- Keep the corners of your nails straight or slightly sloped.
- Properly disinfect your nail clippers, cuticle sticks, and pedicure tools before and after each use.
- Opt for larger nail clippers recommended by foot doctors for a clean, straight cut.
- To prevent cutting your toenail too short, align it with the top part of your toe.
Additionally, it is crucial to wear shoes that do not squeeze or exert excessive pressure on your toes. This includes avoiding high heels, narrow or point-toe shoes, as well as shoes used for walking, hiking, or running.
Regularly checking your toenails for discoloration or bumpy ridges is important, as these may indicate a fungal toe infection. Consult your doctor for appropriate treatment if such signs are observed. If you suspect fungus, immediately opt for the Elim Fungal Force Serum.
For more information on how to relieve ingrown toenail pain, click here.