[toc]An ingrown toenail (also called unguis incarnates or onychocryptosis) is a common painful condition, in which the toenail’s edges or corners pierces the soft tissue of the toe, by growing into it.
It can be identified by swelling, redness, and occasionally infection and is usually caused by uncomfortable footwear, toenail injury, cutting toenails very short, etc. There are various natural remedies for treating ingrown toenails. Below are the best natural treatments for preventing ingrown toenails.
Ways To Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Soak Your Toe
This is the most widely opted and an efficient technique for treating ingrown toenails. Take a tub of warm water (do not take hot water) and add one or two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Soak your toe for about five to ten minutes in this solution. Do this procedure twice a day for better results. This reduces swelling, relieves you of the pain and makes the nails soft.
Trim Nails Properly
You should cut your nails straight, and avoid having curved toenails as it is one of the main causes for ingrown toenails. The reason behind this is when we stand, our body weight places pressure on the feet due to which the skin in front of toenail is pushed up. Furthermore, if nails are cut too short, they may go into the skin as they grow.
Say No To Colored Socks
If you are having ingrown toenail, you should avoid colored, i.e, dyed socks, and should use only white socks as dyes in colored hosiery may leak into the wound and can irritate the inflamed skin. This could complicate the situation by infecting the wound more (especially if you are sensitive to dyes).
Wear Comfortable Footwear
Most of the time, an ingrown toenail is caused by uncomfortable footwear. Avoid high heels if you are a woman. Wear shoes that have room for toes, avoid tight shoes. If the weather is fine to wear open-toed sandals, then wear them in order to give your toe some space. However, do not wear open-air footwear in any terrain. Do not wear sandals in the city if you have an infected toe, as there is a potential danger of your toe getting covered by bacteria present in sidewalks.
Lift Up Your Toenail
Lift up your toenail, using a gauze or a piece of cotton, and place it between your fingers. Place a roll between the skin and the nail to increase the physical contact between the skin and the nail. Although it is painful, but it is one of the most generic home remedy for curing ingrown toenail. It gives the best result if soaking is done first. After each time soaking process is done, try to move the roll a bit more inside. Change this roll on a daily basis. The whole process could take seven to fifteen days to cure the ingrown toenail.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains antibacterial and anti fungal properties and can be used for treatment of ingrown toenails. Clean the affected toe and then gently apply this oil on it, after this cover your toe with a white sock (avoid colored socks as mentioned above). Follow this procedure for a week to get rid of ingrown toenails.