Ingrown toenails are painful and if left untreated can cause dangerous infections or may even require surgery in order to correct the problem. Ingrown toenails generally affect the adolescent and adult populations.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail grows into the flesh of the toe instead of outward. People with thick or curved toenails are highly susceptible to the painful condition. However, anyone can get ingrown toenails if they have improper foot hygiene, poorly fitting shoes, or toe injuries.
Once the toenail buries itself into the skin, it can cause infections in addition to pain. Additionally, when left untreated the skin can actually start forming differently, burying the toenail further.
Ingrown toenails can easily be dealt with at home. There are several methods of doing so, most involving softening the skin surrounding the nail, removing it, and trimming the nail. Once the skin is removed and the toenail lifted and trimmed, a small buffer must be placed between the toe and the nail to prevent the nail from returning to the same spot.
Many items found in the home can be used for these at-home ingrown toenail removal procedures. There are also many products available to help. Epsom salts make a great foot soak and help to soften the skin. Dr. Scholl’s makes an Ingrown Toenail Pain Reliever Kit that includes bunting and a medicated gel to counteract any growing infection. Lastly, there are fungal solutions and soap that kill and fungi or bacteria that may be looking to enter the wound. PediFix FungaSoap is one such product that includes tea tree oil and heals dry, itchy skin. If you are worried about the removal pain, take a simple OTC analgesic like Advil or Tylenol to get you through the procedure.