An ingrown nail, medically known as Onchocryptosis, is a very painful condition of the toes and fingers where the nail grows to cut one or both sides of the nail bed. This causes a sharp and pointed nail digging into the nail bed causing inflammation and pain, release of yellow fluid and unnecessary tissue growth. The causes of Onchocryptosis vary from improper cutting of nails, wearing shoes for too long, injury to the nail, bacterial infection or sometime even genetics. Pain, redness, and swelling are the symptoms of ingrown fingernails, and it may get even worse if not promptly controlled.
Prevention is better than cure and so is proper nail trimming to avoid an ingrown nail is important. Ensure that you do not cut your nail too deep into the corners and wear shoes that fit properly.
Soak the affected hand or feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day. Soaking reduces swelling and relieves tenderness.
Soak the affected hand or feet in vinegar solution (mix one part vinegar to four part water) for 15-20 minutes then dry feet or hand properly. Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day. Vinegar help reduce infection. When it softens the skin around the nail and then nail itself, you can now clip off the ingrown nail. Cut it gently straight across, starting with the edges to protect the swollen part. You should cut the ingrown nail from the sides and not the center to avoid worsening the condition. Place a small piece of cotton in between the skin and ingrown nail to stop the nail from ingrowing again.
Cut a thin slice of lemon and, using a gauze or bandage, wrap it to the ingrown nail. This is of particular importance if the nail was caused by an infection. The lemon’s acidity will help combat infection.
Soak affected ingrown nail in warm water with epsom salt for 10 to 15 minutes and then dry the area completely. Repeat it 3 to 4 time daily. Add about 1/2 cup of Epsom salt for every gallon of water. Epsom salt soothe inflammation, reduce swelling and helps to draw out infection.
Clove oil, melaleuca oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil and tea tree oils are known to relieve pain and have antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibacterial properties. Take one drop of any essential oil, also you can dilute using olive oil or can just use the concentrated form. Apply the oil on affected nail and then secure with a bandage. Repeat this for 2 to 3 times a day to get the results.
Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective disinfectant. It should however be used very cautiously as it is toxic when swallowed. In this method, you need a 3% solution of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide. This is prepared by mixing 11 ounces of water with 1 ounce of the 35% hydrogen peroxide. After mixing, soak the affected nail for 15 to 20 minutes then properly dry with a towel. This will relieve you of the pain, soften the skin around the ingrown nail while also combating any bacterial infections.
While giving the above methods a try, you need to take some further, bit simple efforts. Avoid wearing shoes and socks while at home. If it heals, cut your fingernails or toenails properly to avoid another ingrown nail. As always recommended, if the condition persists, seek medical attention.