One of the most commonly occurring foot conditions is Ingrown toenails. This happens when the edges of the toe nails grow inward and penetrate into the soft skin tissues. Initially the nail begins to grow and pierce the skin. As the nail grows it continues to go deeper inside. This is known as Onychocryptosis. This condition usually occurs in the big toe. But sometimes it happens in the other toes as well. It is very uncommon for ingrown nails to occur in the fingers.
The affected area swells up and becomes red. It also feels tender to touch and is very painful. At times the skin around the nail hardens and there is also an oozing of suppuration. When the case becomes extreme then you might feel that the area is warm when you feel it. At times it may be accompanied by bleeding and pus. In case the patient is diabetic or suffers from any other vascular ailment then the situation becomes even worst. The patient needs to visit the doctor and seek proper medical advice to prevent the harm. The occurrence of infection needs to be avoided at all cost.
There are many reasons for the Ingrown toenails to occur. One of them is nail trauma. This is a very frequently occurring cause of this problem. Nail trauma occurs when you are doing any physical activity. Wearing shoes which are not comfortable or not the correct size may also lead to this condition. Neglecting the hygiene of the foot and congenital toenail formation also leads to this problem. At times diabetes arthritis and fungal infections and surgery of the nail may also lead to this problem. People who sweat a lot especially near the feet are more prone to suffer from ingrown toenails. Faulty nail cutting may also lead to this condition. In case you cut your nails too close and short then there is a possibility of jagged edges remaining. This increases the chance of having ingrown nails.
Generally one can take care of this problem at home itself. All you need to do is soak the foot in lukewarm water mixed with Epsom salt. Keep the foot in water until the skin is soft enough. Now use a towel or a clean piece of cloth and remove the excess skin which has grown. This will reduce the pain. Once this is done, then immediately use an antibacterial cream. This will not only soothe the affected area but will also keep you free from infection. You may also use a dental tape or a wad of cotton to slowly pull the ingrown nail from the skin. Regularly soaking the foot in warm water will also make the area soft and the ingrown nail will be able to be pulled out in a pain free manner.
In case after this process also the condition persists then it is best to go to a doctor to prevent any infection from happening. In extreme cases when the pain becomes unbearable then you may have to follow a round of antibiotics. You can reduce the chances of suffering from ingrown nails by wearing wide toed shoes and regularly clipping your nails. Maintain the cleanliness of the nails and take proper care to ensure that the condition does not reoccur. Even after the course of treatment is complete you should not neglect the foot care. Any sign of recurrence should be handled immediately before becoming extreme.