ingrown toenailAn ingrown toenail is caused when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain and swelling. Sometimes this can become infected, causing drainage and serious repercussions.

There are many risk factors that can predispose a person to this common condition. Cutting your nails too short, participating in sports, having diabetes, being overweight, or having a fungal infection of the toe can all cause ingrown toenails. Many people are genetically prone to ingrown nails. Oftentimes, the problem can come from wearing ill-fitting shoes or even shoes that keep the feet slightly damp.

There are some things one can do to prevent and treat painful ingrown toenails. Letting your toenails grow a little longer will help prevent this condition. If you do develop an ingrown nail, soaking the toe in hot water will help prevent infection and lessen pain. You may want to add antibiotic soap or Epsom salts to the water. This will help prevent infection.

Some experts also recommend placing small pieces of cotton under the affected area. This will help the toenail grow upwards instead of into your nail bed. Resting with your feet up can reduce swelling and redness.

If your pain is so severe that it keeps you from everyday activities, it is time to see your podiatrist. Also, if you see a red streak running up your leg or if your infection is spreading, see a podiatrist immediately. There are many quick treatments that can lessen your pain and have you walking with comfort.
One method of treating an ingrown toenail involves using a Band-Aid. Wrapping the affected toe with a Band-Aid will prevent infection and also keep the nail from growing out at painful angles.

If your podiatrist feels it is necessary, he or she may make a small incision and remove part of your toenail. Medication will be placed in the nail bed to prevent the regrowth of the problematic nail. This will be done under local anesthesia and should lessen your discomfort in no time. You will be advised to stay off your foot for a day or so, but can then carry on normal activities afterwards.

Take care of your feet; you have many steps to take in your life. Walking in comfort should be a priority for a lifetime of healthy living.