What to Do if You Have an Ingrown Toenail?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, around 30 million Americans have at least one ingrown toenail. This is a fairly common ailment, and while it can be painful and unsightly for some people, most cases of ingrown toenails aren’t considered dangerous and will go away on their own with proper care.

If you are asking, do ingrown toenails go away or what their causes are, read on to learn.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails are a common foot ailment characterized by the nail’s growth into the skin. The result of an ingrown toenail can be pain, redness, and even swelling, which leads most people to wonder how they will go away.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

In most cases, ingrown toenails are caused by a number of factors. You may have inherited or misshapen nails, making them more likely to curl and grow into the skin. Ingrown toenails can also be caused by shoes that fit poorly or put uneven pressure on the toe area. Tight shoes can also cause the toenail to grow into the skin.

Essentially, People, including children, may develop ingrown nails after an injury. And some suffer from repeated episodes of this condition, which may be due to irregular cutting of the nails or improper footwear.

What Are the Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails?

The symptoms of ingrown toenails are usually quite clear, as it will cause pain and redness around the affected area. There is also a good chance that the person who has an ingrown toenail will have trouble or be unable to wear shoes until it goes away. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can also lead to infection and other further issues with the foot.

The most common symptoms include;

  • Pain around the area where the toenail has grown into the skin
  • Swollen toe or toenail bed

How is an Ingrown Toenail Diagnosed?

An ingrown toenail can be diagnosed with a physical exam, but you should speak with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. Your doctor will determine whether or not it is necessary to take x-rays in order to diagnose your condition.

How can You Treat an Ingrown Toenail?

If you have an ingrown toenail, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  1. Removing part of the nail edge
  2. Removing the entire nail
  3. Leaving the ingrown toenail to go away on its own

However, there are a few different ways to treat ingrown toenails, but the most common method is to use medicated pads that are normally soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide will kill bacteria and quickly reduce swelling, pain, redness, and other symptoms of an ingrown toenail.

If you are looking for a medicated pad that has been specifically designed for ingrown toenails, you can get them at your local pharmacy or buy them online. You will have to use the medicated pads for about four months, so be sure to read all instructions carefully before using them and consult a doctor if there are any concerns.

Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful, and you should always speak with a doctor before attempting to treat them yourself. When in doubt, always see a professional for treatment.

How Long do Ingrown Toenails Take to Heal?

Most ingrown toenails take around four months to heal completely, but in any case, you should never attempt to cut off the nail yourself. If you do, it may become worse and take longer to heal or lead to infection and other dangerous medical problems.

Can Ingrown Toenails be Avoided?

There is no way to completely avoid ingrown toenails, as they are extremely common. What you can do is properly trim and care for your nails on a regular basis so that they don’t become too long and start to grow into the skin.

Since ingrown toenails are caused by the toenail growing into the skin, it will be impossible to avoid completely unless you keep your nails short.

How to Kill an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Before you get to the doctor, you can implement some discomfort relief measures such as soaking your ingrown toenails in apple cider vinegar or warm water for roughly 10-15 minutes. According to the experts, soak your ingrown toenails at least 4x daily.

How Can I Cut My Own Nails, So They Don’t Grow Into My Skin? 

There are several tools on the market that have been designed specifically for cutting nails. Of course, it is important to be very careful when using sharp tools, so you don’t cause more damage to your skin.

Some general tips when cutting your own toenails include:

  • Make sure the blades are sharp.
  • Cut in one motion, never saw back and forth.
  • Always file nails in one direction, don’t saw back and forth again after you have trimmed them.

If you are at all concerned about the risk of injury when cutting nails, it is best to consult a professional or visit your local pharmacy for hydrogen peroxide soaking pads.

Can an Ingrown Toenail Come Back after Treatment?

An ingrown toenail may come back after treatment if not given the proper care and maintenance. You will have to use a medicated pad for four months, but many people only need to do this once in their lives as symptoms should go away completely after that point. However, some cases of ingrown toenails can be persistent and cause problems for years if not given the proper treatment. If you are trying to treat an ingrown toenail yourself, always speak with a doctor first before attempting any home remedies.

Key Takeaway

Most people develop ingrown toenails, which are characterized by redness and pain. The condition can sometimes go away without any medical attention but with optimum care. Some leading causes of ingrown toenails include hereditary factors, poorly fitting shoes, or shoes that put excessive pressure on the toe region. It’s recommendable you visit a health expert in case of ingrown toenails because attempting to remove them all by yourself may make things worse and lead to serious problems, including infection.

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