Are ingrown toenails better removed or treated?
First, what are they?
For ingrown toenails, more correctly in medical terms onychocryptosis, we mean the growth of the nail plate (usually the lateral margins) inside the skin of the nail fold, that is that part of the skin that is on the sides of the nail.
In other words, the ingrown toenail occurs when the lateral part of the nail goes to insinuate itself under the surrounding skin, initially becoming the cause of a slight discomfort, which later evolves towards a sharp pain, associated with the other classic signs of inflammation
One way to prevent the pain if you unfortunately have this condition, is by wearing sandals, socks, or flip flops in place of shoes. In case you do wear shoes make sure that they’re well cleaned and not left in your foot for too long.
If an ingrown toenail does happen to you then there are simple things that you can do to treat it. In most cases it’s a simple nail spike remedy that involves the application of some oil and then filing the affected area until the next morning. Repeat this every day until the infection clears up. It may take a few weeks of doing this, but the end results are worth it.
Normally an ingrown toenail doesn’t clear up on its own, but you can take some action to help it along. There are several home remedies that you can use to speed up the healing time. Some people recommend using garlic combined with hydrogen peroxide. Another remedy is to soak the affected skin in some olive oil. Both of these remedies should be applied several times a day until the pain is gone.
Ingrown toenails are sometimes a small issue that can cause a lot of pain and make you fell very uncomfortable
For more severe infections you may want to consider using something a little stronger. If you have an infected toenail, then you definitely want to consider using a product that contains Methyl Salicylate. This is a salt solution that can penetrate the outer layers of the skin and kill off the bacteria that has caused the infection. The great thing about this type of treatment is that it’s fairly safe and you won’t do yourself any permanent harm by using it.
Here is a common way to try to solve this issue without removing the nail
Dip your foot in warm water. Grab a large bowl or use the bathtub and soak your foot. Choose a tub or container in which you can soak at least your toe and soak it for about 20 minutes. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day.
Add the Epsom salts to the water. These salts are known for their ability to reduce pain and swelling, as well as help soften the nail. Add 1 cup of Epsom salts to the bathtub where you poured a few inches of water.
If you don’t have Epsom salts, you can use regular table salt. Salt water can help reduce the growth of bacteria in the area. Gently massage the affected area. In this way, you allow the water to easily penetrate the ingrown nail, helping it to expel bacteria.
with the help of something very thin, clean and safe, such as dental floss, gently lift the edge of the nail. After dipping the foot, the nail should be softer.
Very carefully, place a piece of thread under the edge of the nail; then lift it just a bit, carefully, so that the nail does not grow further into the skin. Try this solution after each foot soaking procedure. Use a new piece of thread each time.
Depending on the extent and severity of the ingrown toenail, this could be a bit painful. If that’s the case, take a pain reliever to help relieve the discomfort. Do not go too deep into the nail, as you could cause a more serious infection that would require medical intervention.
Some people will still opt for the traditional “surgical approach”, especially if they have had ingrown toenail recurrence. This is because they are afraid of having to deal with something that isn’t going to be solved unless the all nail is removed.
The problem with this approach is that it’s obviously a pain that not everyone is willing to feel, and sometime could be also expensive, as in modern days, you need to book a doctor specialist in this field, and pay for the surgery and the medicament in the days after the nail removal.
The conservative technique can work sometimes, but not always is the best solution and actually the removal, both in part or for the all nail, is what normally the doctors suggest. So in cases where the infection cannot be stopped perhaps then removal is the best course of action, and doing it in a timely manner is strongly suggested, in order to avoid things to get worse.
The condition can affect any nail, but typically occurs in the big toe of the foot; it is not associated with particular complications, at least in otherwise healthy subjects.
Among the most important practices to prevent the formation of this disorder, it is recommended to cut the nail while maintaining sharp edges and corners.
Helen Charlotte is a health centre assistant three days per week and a Biologist Student who enjoys running listening to music and walking. She is brave and entertaining, and loves competitions.