Thursday, February 18, 2016

Toe Woes

A common problem many people have is an ingrown toenail. I have suffered from this myself. 

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown into the skin instead of over it. Most foot care experts say that clipping toe nails straight across helps prevent ingrown toenails. Shoes that don’t fit right can cause an ingrown nail, as can just being on your feet or walking a lot. You can get an ingrown toenail if you hurt your toe, such as stubbing it. This can cause the nail to grow inward. Repeating an activity that injuries the nail, such as kicking a soccer ball, can also cause an in grown nail. If a member of your family has an ingrown toenail, then you are more likely to develop one, too. Some people's nails are normally more rounded than others, which increases the chance of developing ingrown nails. If a nail is becoming ingrown, you’ll first notice that it’s feeling tender where the nail is pushing into the side of your skin. You may find yourself favoring that foot, or pressing your toe against the inside of your shoes. 

 Step into a Relaxing Foot Bath to Steam Your Ingrown Toenail Away

Did you know that a common household footbath could add some relaxing relief to your ingrown toenail woes? Soak your sore toe in warm/hot water for 15 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. Add some lavender or tea tree essential oil to help soften the skin further. After you’ve given it a good soak, for about 20 minutes, see if you can pull the embedded nail up on the corner, lifting it away from the skin. You can use a nail file for this—slowly and carefully sliding it under the edge of the nail. 

 Sometimes it takes more than one soaking to get the nail soft enough to lift from the skin. If you don’t succeed the first time, dry off your poor foot, dab on a drop of lavender or tea tree oil (they both have antiseptic and antibiotic properties) and try again tomorrow. 

 Once the nail lifts past the skin, trim the nail with a small pair of scissors. Now you will have a tender, pink channel in your toe where the nail once pressed. Wedge a small piece of cotton under the corner of your ingrown nail. This will help lift the nail off of the skin. Keep it bandaged and clean. To prevent infection, apply more lavender and or tea tree essential oil after bathing until your toe doesn’t hurt anymore. 

Wear loose-fitting shoes that don't press on the toe where the nail was removed. 

If there is no improvement after three days of home care or if you have diabetes see your doctor.

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