Dealing with an ingrown toenail? Here’s what to do about it…
An ingrown toenail is a common foot complaint that occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin. The result is pain and swelling around the affected toenail. If you’ve dealt with an ingrown toenail before then you know that sometimes the problem sorts itself out. Here are some at-home remedies that could ease your ingrown toenail symptoms along with signs it’s time to see our Reston, VA, podiatrists for treatment.
What causes ingrown toenails to happen?
While any toenail can become ingrown, the big toe is most commonly affected. You may be prone to ingrown toenails if,
- You sustain an injury or trauma to the toenail
- You wear shoes that are too tight or bunch up your toes
- You cut nails too short or at an angle (cut nails straight across and even with the tips of your toes)
How can I ease an ingrown toenail myself?
If you don’t see signs of an infection (e.g. pus under the nail; severe pain and swelling; mild-grade fever) then an ingrown toenail can often be treated from the comfort of your home. Some ways to ease your discomfort is by,
- Soaking your feet in warm water (you may choose to add Epsom salts or ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to the water) several times a day
- Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen
- Gently placing a small piece of clean cotton under the edge of the toenail so that it can grow out properly
- Applying an antibiotic cream over the area (you can get on over the counter cream) to reduce the risk for an infection
- Wearing open-toed shoes or shoes that at least have a wide toe box
When should I see a doctor?
You should see our Reston, Manassas and Leesburg, VA, podiatrists about your ingrown toenail if,
- You have diabetes or neuropathy (do not try to treat ingrown toenails and other foot problems on your own)
- You notice signs of an infection (e.g. increased redness and swelling; pus; skin that’s warm to the touch)
- Your at-home treatments aren’t working
- Your symptoms are getting worse
Are you looking for a podiatrist in Reston, Manassas or Leesburg, VA? Whether you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail, fractured foot or a bunion, you’ll want a qualified foot and ankle specialist that can provide you with the immediate care you need. Turn to our podiatrists at Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers by calling (703) 437-6333, (703) 368-7166 or (703) 777-2101.