Onychocryptosis is the medical term for a toenail which has invaded the skin around it. Whatever it’s called, you just want it gone. To safely and naturally treat an ingrown toenail at home, your San Antonio foot doctors have some great suggestions. Here are just a few.
1. Check the Nail and Skin for Signs of Infection
If your toe is red and very sore, gives off a bad odor and drains pus or fluid, make an appointment with your podiatrist in South Texas. You may need an oral or topical antibiotic medication to quell infection, professional nail trimming or even a partial nail removal. If the toe is relatively comfortable and not irritated, or draining, you can try to treat your symptoms at home.
2. Soak Your Foot in Warm Water at Least Once a Day
Do this if you see no signs of infection. Add over the counter epsom salts to the water according to package directions. A warm soak will soften both the nail and the surrounding skin and soothe them as well. Soaking is a great way to make nail trimming easier, too.
Some people like to use diluted apple cider vinegar instead of water and epsom salts because of the antibacterial benefits in the vinegar. Whichever soak you lose, rinse and dry your foot thoroughly with a clean towel afterwards.
3. Apply an Antibiotic Ointment, and Avoid Friction
Apply this over-the-counter ointment (Neosporin, for instance) to the nail and skin to reduce the chances of developing a fungal or bacterial infection and also moisturize the toe. Bandage as needed to avoid friction or use a drugstore toe protector. Wear shoes with plenty of room in the toe boxes, and refrain from going barefoot, even inside your home.
4. Wear Dry Well-Fitting Socks and Shoes Every Day
You’ll avoid the bacteria and accidental trauma which can cause ingrown toenails. While some people develop ingrown toenails due to heredity, others get them from simply stubbing toes, trimming nails too short and rounding the corners of the nails. Diabetes and peripheral vascular disease are two predisposing health problems for onychocryptosis.
5. Only Use Clean, Sharp Toenail Clippers
This is not just a treatment but a preventive measure as well. Cut toenails straight across and even with the top of the toes. Clean clippers with alcohol after each use. Be sure the clippers you use are for toenails only and not for fingernails.
Ingrown Toenail Doctor in San Antonio, TX
For comprehensive foot and ankle care, contact your podiatrist at The Podiatry Group of South Texas. Our professional team is highly experienced in a wide range of foot and ankle diseases, injuries and chronic problems, such as ingrown toenails.
Call one of our convenient locations for an appointment, or fill out our online request form. We proudly serve the San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde and Live Oak communities. We will be happy to see you and help you have great foot and ankle health.