If you have ever experienced a sharp pain in your foot, especially in the toes, you should not just simply dismiss it until it worsens. If the pain is around the edge of the toenails, usually the big toes, you probably have an ingrown toenail.
The best cause of action if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail is to reach out to Eazy Foot & Ankle. Your foot doctor will offer the necessary treatment to offer you relief and avoid complications. Nonetheless, there are some things you can do at home to ease the pain and irritation. Here are some key suggestions for at-home remedies.
- Wear Comfortable Footwear
Overcrowding your toes by wearing ill-fitting shoes is one of the leading causes of ingrown toenails. You can keep an ingrown toenail from developing in your big toe by wearing comfortable shoes and socks.
Ensure you select better-fitting shoes that provide adequate room for your toes. Comfortable footwear should also allow you to wiggle your toes. Wear sandals rather than shoes during the healing process to keep off pressure on your swollen toenails.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Soak
Apple cider vinegar is considered a folk remedy for most ailments today, and this includes ingrown toenails. While there is not much scientific evidence backing apple cider vinegar, it is known to have antiseptic, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can find relief from your ingrown toenail by soaking the affected foot in a basin or bucket of warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar. Remember, always dry your feet thoroughly once you are done with the soaking.
- Take Oral Antibiotics
Foot doctors do not usually suggest oral antibiotics for mild cases of ingrown toenails. There is no concrete evidence that oral antibiotics can improve this condition. Nevertheless, you might require oral antibiotics if you have a weakened immune system.
Besides, if your ingrown toenails show signs of infection like throbbing pain, foul odor, increased redness, and pus, antibiotics can help. Typical antibiotics for ingrown toenails include Flucloxacillin, Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, and more.
- Utilize a Toe Protector
If your everyday activities require you always to wear shoes, a toe protector can offer a cushioning barrier for ingrown toenails. Tope protectors are available as stretchable rings that fit around the affected region or as a covering of the whole toe.
Besides, some toe protector brands have a medicated gel to help soften toenails for easy trimming. Utilize the toe protector as directed until your ingrown toenail completely disappears.
- Apply Antiseptic Ointment
As with oral antibiotics, using over-the-counter antiseptic cream or ointment can promote healing and help reduce the likelihood of infection. Common antiseptic ointments you can use include mupirocin, neomycin, and Polysporin.
Apply the ointment to the affected toenail adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines, often up to 3 times every day. Bandage your toenail after every application to prevent foreign substances from infiltrating the ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails can be incredibly irritating, and painful, making it difficult to wear shoes or walk normally in some cases. Luckily, this condition is easy to treat at home. Wearing comfortable shoes, taking oral antibiotics, using antiseptic ointments, and more can offer relief.
However, in some cases, your ingrown toenails can result in serious complications. Consult a foot doctor if you have an underlying condition that places you at risk for complications like diabetes. Nail trimming is often effective, but sometimes, surgery could be necessary.