As the weather warms up and open-toed shoes start to make their annual appearance, it’s common for incidents of ingrown toenails to go on the rise. The reason is most cases of ingrown toenails may be traced back to improper pedicures, ill-fitting shoes and toenail injuries.
Understandably, all of those things have a tendency to occur more often when our feet are exposed or overly pampered in anticipation of going barefoot. For example, we may cut our nails too short or stub our toes on the boardwalk during a trip to the beach.The good news is ingrown toenails, though painful, may be successfully treated.
First, consider switching footwear and soaking your feet in a daily Epsom® salt bath. All you need is a large, square wash basin filled with room or warm temperature water and 8 ounces of Epsom® salt. Stir the salt into the water and let your feet soak for 15 to 30-minutes.
The sulfate inherent in the salt will help reduce the swelling. If you are worried about drying out your skin, you may want to try making an Epsom® salt paste for your injured toe instead. Generally a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of water will do.
When you’re finished, wash and dry your feet. Then apply a topical antiseptic or antibiotic to the area to help combat infection. If the toe remains inflamed and appears to be infected, don’t delay. Set up an appointment with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can help professionally treat the infection and take direct steps to lift or remove nail and tissue.
Removing nail and tissue will help relieve the pressure and make effectively treating the infected nail bed easier. However, it must be done by a professional. Otherwise, the situation could worsen dramatically. To learn more about ingrown toenails, please reach out to one of the podiatrists listed in our online directory.