Ingrown Toenail : Causes, Prevention and Home Remedies

An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnates, is a painful condition of the toe. It occurs when a sharp corner of the toenail digs into the skin at the end of or side of the toe. Usually it is the nail in the big toe. This can be very painful. Ingrown nails can be caused by shoes that are very tight, or because the person has not been clipping nails properly. Nails should be cut in a straight line and not on a curve.

An ingrown toenail is a common disorder that most often affects the outer edge of the big toe. However, the nail on any toe, or the nail on both sides of a toe, can become ingrown. The most common signs and symptoms are pain, redness, and swelling at the corner of a toenail.

If the ingrown nail case is very severe there is no other solution than going to the doctor and have a small surgery done. But to relieve pain and swelling, here are some home remedies.

. Salt and hot water. Put feet in a basin with hot water and salt for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also use chamomile tea instead as chamomile relieves inflammation.

. This oil is a natural antibiotic that helps prevent infection. Rub a few drops of oil on the affected nail and toe.

. Do not wear high heels or tight-fitting shoes. Consider wearing sandals, if possible, until the condition clears up.

. Soak the foot with the ingrown nail in two pints of warm water and add two teaspoons of marigold (calendula) tincture.

. If your toenail has become thick and brittle you can apply some petroleum jelly mixed with lemon juice.

. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and cover the tender area of your ingrown toenail with a bandage.

. Following each foot soaking, place small sections of a cotton ball or dental floss under the edge of the ingrown toe nail, which most often occurs on the big toe.

. Application of some hydrogen peroxide on the affected area helps cure the infection. Make sure you dry your feet well before using hydrogen peroxide.

. Add 6 teaspoons of powdered licorice to 1 cup of boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and then allow to cool. Use a cotton ball and apply to the infected area three times a day.

If you have diabetes, poor circulation or nerve damage in the foot or leg you should see your doctor promptly to have the problem evaluated.