What is an Ingrown fingernail?
Ingrown nail is a condition where a fingernail grows into the skin that surrounds it. It is a common condition that occurs especially on the big toe.
What are the causes of an Ingrown fingernail?
- Use of tight fitting shoes – If you wear shoes that strain the toes because they are tight, you are likely to experience this problem. These shoes are normally the pointed, high-heeled shoes of those that put a lot of pressure on the toes. The use of tight socks can also lead to this problem. When you use these tight shoes and socks, this problem is likely to give you some paining experience.
- Wrong trimming of the nail is another thing that may lead to ingrown fingernails. If you trim the nails too short or around the ages, you are likely to experience ingrown fingernails. To avoid occurrence of this problem, it will be good for you to trim your nails to the required size.
- Another major cause of ingrown fingernail is injuries. When you are involved in exercises or sports activities, you are likely to injure your nails depending on the condition of the ground you are playing in. during sports, the kind of shoes you use can also lead to this problem. If your shoes are tight, they are likely to strain your toes. This condition may also result from tear and wear of the toes depending on the kind of activity you are engaged in.
- Other people may find themselves in this condition due to the way their nails have grown. Thick or curved nails are at a high chance of getting affected by this condition. If you are one of such a people with this kind of nails, you should be careful or else you will be in this problem. It is good to file your nails so that they are thin.
- Other causes of ingrown nails are overweight. When you have a big body mass, it is likely to strain the toes which may lead to ingrown toenails.
- People who have poor hygiene i.e. those who don’t clean up and trim their nails properly are at a high risk of getting affected by this condition.
- Sweating a lot on the legs is another problem that has led to ingrown toenails. This is because sweating will make the area around the toes be weak hence the skin grows out leaving the nail in.
Signs and symptoms of an Ingrown fingernails
There are quite a number of signs and symptoms that will show that you are suffering from ingrown nails.
Tender skin - The first and most common sign in many people is the skin near the nail feeling tender and looking reddish.
Swollen skin - Swollen skin around the nails is also another sign of ingrown finger nails. This is due to the pressure the nail puts on the skin around it. When the nail strains the skin, it will lead to it becoming red and swollen.
Pain – Having sharp pain especially when you walk is another major symptom that you are suffering from ingrown fingernails. As times goes by, this condition will worsen as the skin will grow over the nail. If this condition is not attended to, it may lead to toenail infections by fungal diseases.
How to get rid of an Ingrown fingernail ?
Picture 1 – Ingrown Finernail
Source – ragamuffinsoul
If you have a nail that has been in grown for some time, you can get it off the toe skin. This should then be followed by soaking the feet in warm water. This water should be spiced up with salt. You should soak the legs for some minutes. Then remove it and wipe the area you lifted away the nail using a cotton pad or a soft cloth. If the ingrown fingernail has grown to an extent that home remedies for ingrown finger nails cannot take care of the problem, it is better to consult a doctor. In case of extreme ingrowth, an ingrown fingernail surgery may be needed.
Can diabetic patients treat Ingrown nail without medical specialist?
The ingrown nail condition can affect any person at any age. This means that if you are diabetic, you will also face this problem depending on the kind of conditions you expose yourself to. If you have diabetes, never do ingrown fingernail treatment on your own. It is good to visit a health centre so that you get caregivers who will attend to your problem. If you do it on your own, you will end up with ingrown fingernail infections. Also, other people who should not treat this condition at home are people with low immune, people with poor blood circulation i.e. low or high blood flow and people with feet numbness.
Is Ingrown fingernail surgery necessary in all cases?
If you are suffering from ingrown nails, then ingrown fingernail surgery is one of the best cures that will see this problem disappear completely. It is of great importance to visit a hospital where you will get specialists who will do this job for you. At the hospital the care giver will operate on your nail to remove to remove the nail that is in grown.
At the hospital the doctors may also opt to administer matricectomy on your ingrown nail. This is a procedure where the doctors will destroy the root of your nail. When this is done, it will inhibit growth of some parts of the nail. This is a good way that will clear off the problem of ingrown nails. If this problem recurs after this procedure, then the whole nail may need to be removed.
What are the home remedies for Ingrown fingernails?
An ingrown nail is involves the nail digging into the skin that surrounds it. Ingrown nails are very easy to treat at home. With care you can completely eliminate this problem which will have rather seen you waste a lot of money to see medical professionals. To treat this problem effectively at home, you need first to understand its root cause. What is needed to avoid this problem is proper cleaning of the nails and keeping them dry.
Things you need for the treatment of ingrown fingernails at home
- Nail cutter
- Warm salt water
- Antibacterial infection ointment
- Olive oil
- Nail file
Procedure for home cure of Ingrown fingernails
With the use of the nail cutter, try to carefully trim the nail that is growing into the skin. This is not an easy job especially if the nail is stuck into the skin. It is good to be cautious when doing this to avoid worsening the situation. It will be of great significance to trim the sharp corners of the nail since these are the ones that dig into the surrounding skin.
After trimming, soak the feet in warm salt water for half an hour. This is meant to make the feet soft for easy trimming. You can repeat this three times a day.
Dry the feet and apply antibacterial ointments so that it prevents any bacterial infections. When the toenails have been removed, they expose the surface of the skin to infections. This is why you need to disinfect this surface.
Once you have disinfected, it is good to apply medications to encourage fast and proper growth of the nails. This medications should be applied under the ingrown nail. This is the ingredient that will trigger the nails to rise up hence avoid digging into the skin. This ingredient can be applied by using a soft cotton pad.
It is good to take an initiative to prevent ingrown nails in future. This can be achieved by regular trimming of nails so that they are kept in good shape. Don’t cut the nails too short or never allow them to be long. It is good to cut them regularly and try to file them so that they are straight.
After trimming the nail, it is good to soak them in olive oil once in a week to keep them soft and healthy. Olive oil is known to have ingredients that will keep your nails healthy.
How to prevent occurrence of Ingrown fingernail?
There are quite a number of ways through which you can prevent the occurrence of this condition. The most common way of doing this is by ensuring you do proper trimming of nails. Proper trimming means you use the right equipment to trim your nails. It is good to trim them to the required size. Don’t make them too short.
Proper washing and maintaining of the nails is another thing that will see you avoid getting into this problem. Once you have washed your nails, it is good to wipe them and leave them dry. This will prevent any infection. Leaving your nails wet may trigger weakening of the skin around it.
It is good to prevent occurrence of ingrown fingernails by cutting the nails straight. Don’t cut them into curves as this may trigger the problem of ingrown feet. These are just but major things that will see you steer off the problem of ingrown fingernails.
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Written by Anju Mathew
on July 15th, 2011. The article was last updated on August 29th, 2011