An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges or corners of a toenail grow into the surrounding skin. While it may seem like a minor injury, it can result in redness, swelling, and pain. Typically, an ingrown toenail will grow out on its own. However, in some cases, an ingrown nail can cause significant pain or an infection.
There are some home remedies you can use to control symptoms such as pain. Listed below are the most common ways to treat an ingrown toenail.
In order to prevent an infection from developing, we recommend you seek the help of a doctor. Before using any of these ideas, it’s best to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will ensure you pick the right treatment and that your child’s ingrown toenail is dealt with in a safe and effective manner.
To control pain symptoms, use over-the-counter pain relievers. Some examples include naproxen sodium (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB and Advil). Make sure your child doesn’t exceed the daily recommended amount.
Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine to treat or lower the risk of infection. Signs of infection include:
- Foul odor
- Increased swelling
- Presence of pus
- Warmth around the affected toe
- Increased redness and pain
Soak in Warm Water
Soak your child’s affected foot in warm water for about 20 minutes – 3 to 4 times per day. You may also add Epsom salts or castile soap to the water to provide additional relief. This remedy will relieve tenderness and reduce swelling.
A toe protector provides a cushioning barrier around the ingrown toenail so external factors won’t be able to bother it. This instrument looks like a ring and fits around the affected area so neighboring toes can’t bump against the affected area. Some toe protectors come with a medicated gel that softens the nail, making it easier to trim.
Wear Comfortable Footwear
Wearing shoes that push on your child’s toes can cause further irritation and pain to an ingrown toenail. Compressed and pinched toenails have a higher risk of piercing through surrounding skin, which can be painful. While it’s acceptable to wear shoes and socks, make sure the footwear fits comfortably and gives ample space to the toes. Go for sandals or open toe shoes when possible.
Podiatry Care in Southern Texas
Most ingrown toenails are treatable by home remedies. However, it’s always best to be safe and get a doctor to check it out. A podiatrist will be able to assess if your child has an infection or the ingrown toenail needs to be treated professionally. Having a trained and experienced podiatrist by your side can save your child from unnecessary pain and discomfort as well as make the treatment of the ingrown toenail much easier.
If your child have an ingrown toenail and you want to have an experienced doctor check it out, contact the experts at The Podiatry Group of South Texas. Our physicians have decades of experience and will give your child top-notch medical care using the best treatments available. To make an appointment, call us at (210) 227-8700 or set an appointment online.