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A look at an infected ingrown toenail, symptoms, pictures, pain, home treatment, treatment over the counter, treat an infected toe without antibiotics, get rid of an ingrown toenail fast, how to treat

Ingrown Toenail Symptoms

Ingrown toenails are a common condition affecting the corner of a toenail growing into the soft flesh. The result is pain, swelling and an infection. Ingrown toenails mostly affect your big toe.

Often you can also take care of the ingrown toenails on your own. If pain is very severe, your doctor might then take steps so as to relieve your discomfort and assist you to avoid complications that are associated with infected ingrown toenail.

If you have diabetes which leads to poor blood flow to your feet, then you’re at a much higher risk of complications of the ingrown toenails.

An infection in skin around the toenail is known as the paronychia. It’s normally brought about by a bacterium. The toenail might also be infected with a fungus.

If your toe is largely infected, one of the below things are to be blamed:

  • You cut the nail too short, or you cut the cuticle that is around the nail.
  • You have an ingrown toenail.
  • You’ve picked up a fungus, especially if you walk barefoot in the common areas such as a gym shower or even a locker room.
  • You have a callus, which is a thickened skin that is brought about by rubbing (for instance, when your toe rubs against the shoe).
  • You put your feet in the water a lot (even if it is through swimming).

You’re likely to get an infected toenail if you have diabetes. Damage to blood vessels due to the high blood sugar makes it harder for your body fighting off infections. And diabetic nerve damage can prevent you from feeling of the minor trauma which leads to a toenail infection.

If you have a weakened immune system, then you’re also likely to get toenail infections. This includes people who are infected with HIV, or people who’ve had an organ transplant.

What Are the Symptoms?

You might have an infected ingrown toenail if you notice:

  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • A pus-filled blister that drains from your toenail
  • Cracked, yellow toenails (that are caused by a fungal infection)

Diabetes prevents you from feeling that you have an infection, so check your feet thoroughly every day. Look for any kind of redness, pus, and many other signs of infection.

Ingrown Toenail Pictures

 

Infected ingrown toenail

Infected ingrown toenail

Infected ingrown toenail

Infected ingrown toenail

Ingrown Toenail Pain

An ingrown toe nail happens when your toenail starts growing downwards into skin around it. Ingrown toenails can lead to swelling, pain, as well as discomfort, especially when wearing shoes. Fortunately, there are some of the things which you can do so as to alleviate ingrown toe nail pain so that you can be more comfortable while waiting for your toenail to heal.

To assist in relieving ingrown toenail pain, soak your foot in a tub of warm water and then 1 cup of Epsom salts for 20 minutes. After soaking your foot, use an antibiotic cream that has lidocaine to the skin area around your ingrown toenail and then cover it with a bandage.

Wear open-toe shoes while having an infected ingrown toenail so that you don’t irritate your toe. If the pain persists for a long period of time, then try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or even aspirin.

Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment

Here are common ingrown toenail remedies.

  1. Soak in warm, soapy water

Soaking the affected foot assists in reducing the swelling and easing of pain. You may then soak your foot in warm water 3 times a day for up to 30 minutes at a time. Castile soap is a very good option. Adding Epsom salts to water brings additional relief.

  1. Soak in apple cider vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar has been used for a long period of time remedy and for almost everything these days, which includes ingrown toenails. It’s said to have antiseptic and pain-relieving abilities, although scientific evidence is very limited at best.

To try this particular remedy, prepare warm water combined with 1/4 cup of the apple cider vinegar. Soak the affected foot for up to a period of 30 minutes daily. Dry your foot thoroughly after soaking.

  1. Pad the area using dental floss or cotton

Doctors recommend tucking small bits of waxed dental floss under the edge of an infected ingrown toenail so as to encourage proper nail growth.

According to some researchers, however, placing cotton under your nail increases pain and allow harmful bacteria to thrive. Soaking of the floss in alcohol before application might assist to reduce this risk.

  1. Apply antibiotic ointment

Use of the over-the-counter antibiotic ointment promotes healing and assists to reduce the risk of infection. Apply the ointment to infected ingrown toenail following the manufacturer’s instructions, up to 3 times daily. These particular ointments include Neosporin and Bactroban. Be sure to bandage the infected toenail after application.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes and socks

Shoes that are very tight crowds your toes. This is usually considered to be a leading cause of the ingrown toenails. To assist in preventing an ingrown toenail from worsening, wear shoes or hosiery that fit but still leave some ample space in toe bed. During the healing process, avoid shoes or just wear sandals as much as possible so as to limit pressure on your toenails.

  1. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever

Acetaminophen might assist to relieve ingrown toenail pain. Side effects are unusual unless you take more than the daily recommended amount or you take it with alcohol.

If swelling is present, ibuprofen can be a better option as it relieves both pain as well as the swelling. Some of the common side effects of ibuprofen are abdominal pain, upset stomach, and also diarrhea.

Take all over-the-counter pain relievers as directed by your doctor.

  1. Use a toe protector

A toe protector usually provides a cushioning barrier for the infected ingrown toenails. Toe protectors are available as rings which fit around the infected area or even as a covering for entire toe. Some of the brands of toe protectors come with a medicated gel to assist in softening toenails for easy trimming. Use the treatment as directed until the ingrown toenail is completely gone.

  1. Try a toe brace

Toe braces are made of thin, composite material and are usually glued to the top of your toe. They’re meant to assist in shielding your skin from an infected ingrown nail and lift the nail edges as the nail grows. Toe braces are found online and also in some pharmacies.

  1. Consider nail removal

If an infected ingrown toenail doesn’t improve with the use of home remedies, partial or even full removal of nail is recommended. Using a local anesthetic, a doctor can get rid of part of the nail’s border, the underlying nail bed, or even part of middle growth plate.

In severe, recurring cases, the entire ingrown nail might be removed. This is a last resort, and a potentially painful solution which increases your risk of infection. It also increases the risk that your toenail can misshapen as it grows back.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment over the Counter

In 2002, the FDA approved a treatment which is marketed as Dr. Scholl’s Ingrown Toenail Pain Reliever.

The idea behind the treatment is twofold. First, it reduces contact with or even pressure directly on the infected area and second, softens the nail for trimming. This approach makes the product to be better suited for ingrown nails where the nail has punctured the skin or is brought about by a toenail spicule. Ingrown toenails where pain is brought about by a highly curved nail that is pressing into the toe aren’t as likely to be relieved by use of the treatment. Customer reviews shows that this product to be very effective if softening as well as the removal of offending nail piece is all that is required.

How to Use Dr. Scholl’s Ingrown Toenail Pain Reliever

Below are the directions for use from the Dr. Scholl’s package;

  • Clean the affected area and dry thoroughly.
  • Place retainer ring on toe with slot over the area where the infected ingrown nail and skin meet. Smooth ring down firmly.
  • Cut open tip of tube on score mark. Apply enough amount of gel product so as to fill the slot in the ring. Immediately replace cap on the tube.
  • Place the round center section of bandage directly over gel-filled ring so as to seal the gel in place. Smooth ends of the bandage strip around toe.
  • Repeat the process about twice daily for up to 7 days until pain and discomfort is relieved or until the ingrown nail can be lifted out of nail groove and is easily trimmed.

How to Treat an Infected Toe without Antibiotics

Here are the ways that can be used to get rid of infected ingrown toenails.

  1. Warm Water Soak

When you are suffering from ingrown toenails, warm some amount of water, foot soaks that are done a few times a day can assist much in relieving the swelling, pain as well as the tenderness brought about by the problem.

  1. Fill a small foot tub with warm water.
  2. Soak your feet in it for 20 minutes.
  3. Do this 4 times a day so as to get relief.
  1. Cotton Wedge under the Nail

After a warm water soak, you can then place a cotton wedge under the affected toenail so as to assist it to grow above the skin. This will even relieve pain and then speed up the healing process.

  1. Soak your feet in warm water, then dry them.
  2. Carefully lift the infected nail using a blunt pair of tweezers.
  3. Place a small cotton between your nail and skin.
  4. Replace the cotton every time you soak your feet to prevent infection.

Initially, you might experience some amount of pain, but it lessens quickly. Avoid pushing the cotton roll farther than the swollen skin allows.

  1. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt, scientifically called the magnesium sulphate, is a very effective treatment for the infected ingrown toenail.

It assists in softening the skin around the toenail area, making it easy to draw out the ingrown nail. It also assists to bring down the inflammation.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in a foot tub that is filled with warm water.
  2. Soak your feet in the solution for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from water and dry your feet.
  4. Repeat the remedy 3 times a week.
  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is helpful for infected ingrown toenails. Its antiseptic as well as the anti-inflammatory nature assists to relieve the symptoms. Also, its mild acidic nature prevents any infection.

Follow either of the below remedies 3 times daily until you are satisfied with the result.

  • Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered ACV and warm water in a small foot tub. Soak the infected ingrown toenail in the solution for about 30 minutes. When you are done, dry your toenail.
  • Another option is soaking a cotton ball in the vinegar and place it on affected area. Cover it using a bandage for some hours, then get rid of it.
  1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant which assists in reducing the risk of infection and relieving the pain as well as the inflammation brought about by an ingrown toenail.

  1. Mix about ½ cup of the hydrogen peroxide in a small tub of warm water.
  2. Soak the affected toenail in this solution for about 30 minutes.
  3. Do the process twice daily.
  1. Turmeric

You may also use the turmeric so as to get rid of the infected ingrown toenail discomforts, like pain, swelling as well as inflammation.

How to Get Rid Of an Ingrown Toenail Fast

  1. Try a foot soak. Allow your infected ingrown toenail to soak in a warm salt water bath for about 20 minutes 3 times every day. This soak assists in relieving pain and swelling in an ingrown toenail. Dry your foot completely after every soak.
  2. Keep your foot dry except while soaking.
  3. Take an over-the-counter pain-relieving medication, such as acetaminophen or even ibuprofen.
  4. Gently pull the skin away from the nail by use of a small nail file or any other blunt device which won’t cut or even hurt the toe.
  5. Stuff tiny pieces of clean, moist cotton between the ingrown toenail and skin to assist separate them and providing a little cushioning to skin. You may soak the cotton in some water or an antiseptic cleanser first.
  6. Rub your toe with antibiotic ointment to assist in reducing your chance of developing an infected ingrown toenail.

How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails are treated as soon as symptoms are seen, especially if the person is having diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation in foot. Otherwise, complications might happen.

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons advise seeing a doctor rather than use of the over-the-counter medications, as these might mask the pain, but they will not solve the problem.

Seeing a doctor

The patient should see a doctor if:

  • they have diabetes or any circulatory problem
  • symptoms do not disappear
  • an infection develops

A healthcare professional might get rid of some of the nail that is pushing into the skin.

They may require to get rid of a portion of nail and the underlying nail bed so as to prevent the problem from coming back.

As the nail grows back, the healthcare provider might place some cotton wool under the nail so as to stop it from digging into skin again. It is crucial to change the cotton wool each day.

 

References;

  1. What to do about an ingrown toenail:
  2. 10 Ways to Treat Ingrown Toenails:
  3. The Ingrown Toenail Treatment Guide:
  4. Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenails:
  5. Ingrown Toenail: Remedies, When to See Your Doctor, and More:
  6. Is My Toe Infected:
  7. Ingrown Toenails: Why Do They Happen: https://www.healthline.com/health/ingrown-toenail

 




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