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How to Prevent & Treat Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, occur when the edge or corner of a toenail grows into the soft flesh of the toe. This common condition often affects the big toe and can cause significant discomfort, pain, swelling, and sometimes infection. Understanding how to manage and prevent ingrown nails is essential for maintaining foot health.

Aesthetikonzept - Preventing FUngal Nails from ill-fitting shoes

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Several factors can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails. These include:

  1. Improper Nail Trimming: Cutting nails too short or rounding the edges can encourage the nail to grow into the skin.
  2. Tight Footwear: Shoes that are too tight or narrow can compress the toes and lead to nail growth abnormalities.
  3. Injury: Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing or heavy object impact, can cause the nail to grow incorrectly.
  4. Genetics: Some individuals have a natural predisposition to ingrown nails due to the shape of their nails or nail bed.
  5. Poor Foot Hygiene: Not keeping the feet clean and dry can exacerbate the risk of developing ingrown nails.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails

Recognising the signs of an ingrown toenail is crucial for early intervention. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and tenderness along one or both sides of the nail.
  • Redness and swelling around the nail.
  • Infection in the tissue around the nail, indicated by oozing pus or increased pain and swelling.
Aesthetikonzept - Preventing Fungal Nails with Breathable Footwear

Home Care & Management

In many cases, ingrown toenails can be managed at home with proper care. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Soak the Foot: Soak your foot in warm, soapy water for 15-20 minutes, several times a day. This helps reduce swelling and tenderness.
  2. Lift the Nail: After soaking, you can try to gently lift the edge of the ingrown nail and place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under it. This can help the nail grow above the skin edge.
  3. Apply Antibiotic Cream: To prevent infection, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment or the naturally effective Spirularin® NF Nailfold Cream (safe fore all including children, women during pregnancy and diabetics) to the affected area and cover it with a clean bandage.
  4. Wear Comfortable Footwear: Opt for open-toed shoes or sandals to avoid putting pressure on the affected toe.
  5. Take Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can help alleviate the pain and reduce inflammation.

Spirularin® NF Nailfold Cream, combines the naturally effective antibacterial properties of the unique Spiralin® microalage extract ingredient with 20% Zinc Oxide and plant oils. To bring sensitive or irritated nailfolds back into a comfortable balance. Made in Germany, safe for children, women during pregnancy and diabetics.

Spirularin® NF Nailfold Cream

When To Seek Professional Help

If home treatments do not alleviate the symptoms or if the nail appears infected, it is important to seek medical attention. Signs of infection include severe pain, increased redness, swelling, warmth, or pus. A healthcare provider specialising in foot health such as a Podiatrist may perform the following treatments:

  • Nail Lifting: For a mildly ingrown nail, the doctor might lift the nail and place a splint under it.
  • Partial Nail Removal: For more severe cases, part of the nail may need to be removed. This procedure involves numbing the toe and then removing the part of the nail that is ingrown.
  • Total Nail Removal: In cases of recurrent ingrown nails, the entire nail and the underlying tissue may be removed to prevent the nail from growing back.
Aesthetikonzept - Podiatrist

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Preventative measures are key to avoiding the discomfort of ingrown toenails. Consider the following tips:

  • Trim Nails Properly: Cut your toenails straight across and avoid rounding the corners. Do not cut nails too short.
  • Wear Properly Fitting Shoes: Ensure your footwear is the correct size and provides enough room for your toes.
  • Maintain Foot Hygiene: Keep your feet clean and dry, and change socks regularly.

Ingrown toenails, though often minor, can become a significant nuisance if not addressed promptly. By following these care and prevention tips, you can keep your feet healthy and free from the discomfort of ingrown nails. If you experience persistent problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional medical advice.

Disclaimer: This blogpost is for educational and inspirational purposes only. It is not designed to diagnose, treat or cure. We are all unique, so for your individual health concerns it is important to discuss these with a relevant, holistic health care professional.

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