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Treating an In-grown Toenail
by admin on: September 16th, 2011

Most Americans have been crippled by the pain, inflammation and infection of an ingrown toenail. The first indication is a hard, swollen area along the outer edge of your toenail that is very tender to the touch. If you don’t initiate some kind of treatment soon, the nail and surrounding tissue will get red and become infected. This ailment is particularly common with teenagers whose feet are growing fast everyday.

Any toe can be affected, but an in-grown toenail seems to frequent the big toe the most. Typically, this occurs because the skin surrounding the big toe grows over the nail, or the nail grows into the skin (usually on the sides). Either way, it is a prelude to pain and difficulty walking.

Avoidance is the most prudent way to dodge this painful ailment. Start by trimming your toenails straight across and not too short. Don’t trim the corners to shape the nail like your rounded toe, because this can actually increase your chances of an ingrown nail.

Avoid tight shoes that may compress the skin into the nail and cause an infection to begin. Some individuals have a congenital proclivity toward in-grown toenails when their nail is too large for the surrounding tissue. Additionally, trauma to your toes can easily start a process of pain and infection.

To care for an ingrown toenail, soak your foot in warm water three to four times a day. Slipping a waxed dental floss between the nail and your skin will help to reduce the inflammation. Make sure your foot is kept dry for the rest of the day and wear sandals to allow the nail to mend without compression. An over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can alleviate the pain and discomfort.

If your condition worsens, contact your family physician to get treatment and recommendations. If you’re a diabetic, you shouldn’t treat your own foot ailments, but should seek medical attention immediately for any indication that your feet have been compromised.

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