Causes of Ingrown Toenails and Ways to Treat It

Having ingrown toenail can be quite uncomfortable and annoying. Aside from the fact that it can be painful, especially when wearing closed shoes, it could also cause more serious conditions. Despite being common to many, not everyone knows what ingrown toenails are. In order to give light to this, it is important to define and describe it. One medical-oriented website defines ingrown toenails as “a very common problem affecting primarily the great toenail. They are caused by sideways growth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. The abnormal extension of the toenail pushes into the surrounding skin causing discomfort. Normal toenail growth should be vertical or outward toward the tip of the toe. The medical term for ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis.”

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Ingrown Toenails

The said website added the major causes of ingrown toenails. “The sideways growing portion of nail acts like a foreign body and pokes into or pinches off a small piece of skin at the outer edge of the toe. This may cause a break in the skin, causing inflammation and possibly infection. The inflammation often causes more thickening of the nail skin fold, further exacerbating the problem. The protruding piece of nail keeps pushing into the skin, causing further injury and pain,” the website noted.

Aside from the abovementioned causes, there are more particular causes for ingrown toenails. Below are some of the more common causes.

Wearing of very tight shoes or shoes smaller than your feet’s size – People who wear shoes are too short or narrow at the end may get develop ingrown toenails. The tightness of the shoes could easily cause ingrown toenails. Socks and tights could also trigger such toenails.

Injuries to the toenails – When you get your toenail injured due to dropping a heavy item on it, tripping, or kicking a hard object, it could develop ingrown.

Cutting your nails the wrong way – The suggested way to cut toenails is to do it straight across, not cutting it too short, and not cutting the edges. Doing otherwise could make the surrounding skin to fold over the nail and to push into that skin and pierce it.

Poor hygiene – Poor hygiene and excessive sweating can be contributing factors to ingrown toenails. When your feet are always moist and warm, there is a tendency that you will develop ingrown toenails. It is suggested that you take care of your feet by regularly washing them.

You don’t have to take the most sophisticated nail courses in order to know what to do to avoid having ingrown toenails. All you have to do is to be patient and consistent in taking care of your toenails. If you are still getting ingrown toenails despite avoiding the abovementioned causes, you may want to try home remedies to treat it. Below is one of the most effective home remedy tips you can follow to treat your toenails.

  1. Soak your feet onto warm water with diluted white vinegar, Epsom salts, and bleach footbath for 10 minutes two to three times a day
  2. Gently roll back the piece of overgrown skin after dipping the affected toenail on warm water dilute
  3. Apply thin wisp of cotton or tape under the nail edge, helping it to lift the overgrown skin
  4. Cut affected toenails across but not too short while avoiding curing the edges.

If you underwent nail courses, doing the mentioned tips can be an easy task, but if not, you would want to consult with experts. If you believe that you a worse case of ingrown toenails, it would be best to consult with a physician to determine whether or not you are developing infection or any other more serious medical condition.

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