Even though Ingrown Toenails- medically known as “Onychocryptosis”- generally only affect the big toes on the feet, the pain and agony they cause can be excruciating. This medical problem is exactly what its name implies- the edge of the toenail grows into the skin around it. The skin first becomes tender and red. It may also become hard and swollen. If left untreated, the big toe can become severely infected. Normally, you can treat this condition at its early stages yourself, as long as you know some effective natural cures for Ingrown Toenails.
What causes Ingrown Toenails? There are two main causes: trimming your toe nails incorrectly and wearing tight or narrow shoes. When you trim your toenails, you should avoid cutting them too short. You should also avoid tapering the nails so they curve. Instead, to help prevent Ingrown Toenails, you should trim your nails so they are straight across. According to The Podiatry Institute, you can buy specially designed toenail clippers at your local drugstore. These clippers keep you from cutting into the corners of your toenails.
Wearing tight shoes can cause Ingrown Toenails because the footwear can press down on the nails. This pressure can cause the toenail to be pushed down into the skin. Once the nail begins to grow into the skin, you have a medical problem started.
There is one main natural cure for Ingrown Toenails that’s quite effective. First, you can get immediate relief from the pain and soreness by soaking your foot in warm, soapy water. Or, soak your foot in warm water with table salt added to it. Do this for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Then, rinse well with cool water and pat your foot dry. The soaking will soften the skin around the Ingrown Toenail. The soap, especially if it’s an antibacterial type, will help cleanse the area and prevent infection. It will also kill harmful bacteria. Table salt will do the same.
Then, to cure the nail problem, you’ll need to trim back the big toe nail so it’s no longer growing into the skin. But, don’t trim it too far back. Trimming it too far won’t help to resolve the Ingrown Toenail problem. Plus, it will allow harmful bacteria and germs to enter underneath your toe nail.
The front of the nail should be slightly curved. Keep the corners squarish. Apply a few drops of Tea Tree Oil or Calendula cream onto the inflamed skin around the toe nail. Do this two to three times a day to help heal the skin and prevent infection. Tea Tree Oil and Calendula are both natural, effective antiseptics. They can be found at your local healthfood store. Place a bandage over your affected big toe so the oil or cream doesn’t get spread around on your footwear or other objects.
Repeat the soaking-rinsing-drying treatment every day. Also, after you have cleansed the affected toe nail, reapply either Tea Tree Oil or the Calendula cream. Then, cover the big toe that has the Ingrown Toenail. Actually, how long it takes for your toe to heal depends on the severity of the problem. Typically, your toe should be healed in a few days. In the meantime, you should also keep your feet clean and dry. Wearing cotton socks will absorb sweat produced by your feet better than wearing socks that are made out of manmade materials.
If at all possible, avoid wearing shoes- wear sandals or slippers instead- until the Ingrown Toenail is completely healed.
You can also help to heal your Ingrown Toenail from the “inside out”. To do this, add a Vitamin C supplement to your daily intake. It will help build your immune system. Or, take Echinacea, a natural antibiotic that will help kill harmful germs and bacteria.