Three Self-Management Options for Ingrown Toenails


An ingrown toenail is a relatively common condition, and it primarily affects the great or big toe. This medical condition is also known as onychocryptosis, and there are numerous factors which can contribute to its occurrence. Basically, the ingrown toenails develop when the edges of the nail start growing, such that they exert pressure and even cut into the nail bed or surrounding flesh. Typically, this bed becomes inflamed and infected due to the stress. Ideally, you should consult a podiatrist for the diagnosis and treatment of an ingrown toenail. However, you can utilise some self-management options when the condition is still in its early stages.

Reduce Inflammation

When the nail curls around the edges, the flesh in the area will become tender and inflamed. Consequently, you will feel pain when walking, and this will be a limiting factor for your daily activities. Fortunately, you can relieve the swelling at home with some common supplies. Prepare a basin of warm water and add some antibacterial soap or even salt. The heat will cause the inflammation to subside, and the additives will prevent infection. After soaking, dry the affected foot properly and apply some antibiotic ointment. This can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies. You should also dress your affected toe with a clean bandage.

Prevent Nail Bed Penetration

In general, you will start feeling the discomfort of an ingrown toenail when the ends curl into the bed. However, a nail is not considered medically ingrown until a sliver penetrates your flesh. Moreover, once the skin is completely pierced, you will become vulnerable to microbial infections. You can limit the escalation of the condition by preventing the penetration. Basically, this involves lifting the edges of the nail to change the direction of growth. You should obtain a small piece of cotton or even dental floss. Place these under your curled nail such that the material acts as a prop. This should help the nail grow over the edge, instead of inwards.

Change Footwear

One of the major causes and accelerants of ingrown toenails is poor footwear. In simple terms, if your shoes or even socks fit too tightly, they will exert pressure on the nail, forcing it to grow inwards. In addition, this type of poor footwear and its high pressure will cause flesh penetration if the nail is already growing abnormally. Therefore, you should wear loose fitting shoes or open-toed footwear to restore the normal growth of nails.

If self-management does not resolve the ingrown toenail, consult a podiatrist for medical intervention. 


17 January 2017

Quitting smoking at last

I have tried to quit smoking three times over the last few years, but it never really stuck. My mother just got diagnosed with lung cancer, and it's given me the wakeup call that I have been waiting for. I have quit smoking again, but this time I spoke to my doctor before I started and it's made a lot of difference. He organised some nicotine replacement products and counselling to help me quit for good this time. I have started this blog to let people know how much easier it is to quit when your doctor is helping you.