Relieving the Pain of Ingrown Toenails

It’s really not until a person first finds themselves suffering from an ingrown toenail that it becomes apparent how such a tiny abnormality can inflict such excessive pain and discomfort. Even in the case of the smallest of nail on the smallest of toes, it’s the kind of thing that can render a person unable to walk or live their lives properly – the pain really can be unbearable.

In the experience of, the most common course of action taken by those with such everyday nail problems is something of an ‘ignore it and it will eventually go away’ mantra. In some cases this might well prove effective – plenty of ingrown toenails do eventually remedy themselves and disappear without a trace. However, in other cases the nail will only continue digging deeper and deeper into the already painfully damaged area of the toe, which in turn could mean the only realistic option is surgery.

What’s more, ingrown toenails are very much prone to infection and will in most such cases require professional attention to begin healing.

If however a medical professional had deemed an ingrown toenail non-severe and perfectly suited to manual home-care, what’s the best way of addressing the constant pain and discomfort? Yes, it’s likely that the pain will eventually subside if left to its own devices, but how to go about leading a normal life in the meantime?

Here’s a quick overview of some of the simplest and most effective pain-relief methods for minor ingrown toenails:

1 – Let it Breathe

First and foremost, like so many wounds of a similar nature it’s important to continue giving your nail, toe and foot as a whole plenty of opportunity to breathe. It can be tempting to wrap up a red, swollen and generally unsightly toe in air-tight bandages and the like, but this will inevitably slow the healing process and do little for the pain. Consider open-toe shoes or sandals around the home, or anywhere you can get away with them.

2 – Foot Soaks

A wonderful natural pain relief method for ingrown toenails can be found in nothing more than a simple bowl of cool water with a dose of bath salts. Now, soaking may seem like an obvious remedy and indeed it is, but where most go wrong is in having the water too hot or too cold. Unless it’s around the same temperature as your body – room temperature being about the right mark – chances are it won’t have any beneficial effects at all.

3 – Room for Manoeuvre

Another fairly obvious tip that never fails to be overlooked in its importance is that of wearing shoes and slippers with plenty of room for the toes to move. With an ingrown toenail, every time anything at all touches the toe, it hurts. As such, it’s pretty much common sense to choose footwear that doesn’t squash the toes together as this can be both massively painful and detrimental to the healing process.

4 – Meticulous Hygiene

If self-care has been prescribed by the doctor, then the ingrown toenail in question is almost certainly not infected. And as this is the case, the very last thing anyone in such a situation would want is for the toe to become infected and thus make the problem a thousand times worse. As such, while it might be painful on occasion to wash and dry the toe properly, it is important to keep the area immaculately clean. Get yourself in the habit of cleaning your toes properly at least twice a day to reduce the chance of infection.

5 – Pain Killers

If you’ve been given the green light to do so by your doctor, don’t overlook the benefits of standard OTC anti-inflammatory painkillers. There’s a pretty good chance that the area will be quite badly inflamed and this in its own right could be triggering much of the pain – ease both at the same time with the correct medication in accordance with your doctor’s advice.

6 – Watch Closely

Last but not least, perhaps the most important pointer of all concerns keeping an eye on the problem toe on a pretty constant basis for signs of things getting worse rather than better. Toenails are unpredictable at the best of times and it’s always better to nip problems in the bud, rather than allowing them to develop into far worse health issues. So in this instance, if at any time it becomes apparent that pain levels are increasing, the toe is looking any worse at all or there are any signs of infection, it’s time to go back to the doctor for another inspection.