An ingrown toenail is usually quite painful, and it may hurt worse when you walk or stand. Your nail grows into the skin instead of growing over the top of it like it's supposed to. This can lead to infection, especially since your feet are warm and damp most of the day when wearing shoes. If the pain is severe or if there are signs of infection, then you should have your toe examined by a podiatrist. Here are some treatments that might help your toe.
Soften The Nail
Soaking your toe in warm water helps soften the nail. This helps with pain relief, and it might make it easier to pull the nail forward so that you can lift it out of the skin. You can buy a cream that softens toenails and comes in a kit for treating ingrown nails.
Lift The Nail
Lifting the nail keeps it from burrowing into your skin. Lift it several times throughout the day to keep skin from covering the tip of the nail. This allows the nail to grow out without digging into your skin. You may want to place a tiny bit of gauze under the nail to hold it in a lifted position.
Protect The Toe
When your toe is in pain from an ingrown toenail, bumps will hurt more than usual. Keep your toe protected with a toe cushion or wear shoes with stiff toes for protection. Wear sturdy shoes in public, but when you're at home, go without shoes and socks so that there is no pressure on your toe to make it hurt worse.
See A Podiatrist
If your toe shows signs of redness or infection, see a podiatrist for an examination. If you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects your circulation or immune system, you should see a podiatrist at the first sign of an ingrown nail. Even if you have healthy feet, a podiatrist can help with ingrown nail problems in different ways. The first step may be to lift the nail and hold it in place with a splint. More serious problems could require removal of part or all of the nail.
Ingrown toenails can be a rare thing if yours develops because you cut your nail wrong or if you stubbed a toe. Sometimes, ingrown nails happen frequently due to the way your toe is shaped. If you have ingrown nails regularly, then removing the nail could be the best way to stay free of pain.