An ingrown toenail affects people of all ages, and it is one of the most common toenail problems. There are various reasons why it develops in the first place, such as anatomical factors like thickening of the nail plate, pressure from abutting digits caused by hallux valgusor lesser toe deformities, improper nail-cutting, trauma, and tight-fitting footwear.
Some of the most common symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:
- Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail
- Swelling of your toe around the nail
- Redness around your toenail
- Infection of the tissue around your toenail
Natural Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Luckily, an ingrown toenail can be treated in an all-natural way. While surgery is the last resort if in stages II and II, it can be naturally treated if you take care of the situation as soon as you notice it.
1. Soak or Wash the Foot
Soaking the foot in warm water helps keep the area free of bacteria. It is recommended to soak the foot 3 to 4 times daily. Adding Epsom salt to the water also helps, as it softens the skin and makes the drawing out of the nail easier.
2. Wash with Castile Soap
If you have a tight schedule and cannot find the time to soak the foot on a regular basis, washing it with castile soap also helps. It contains natural and pure ingredients that keep the area clean, dry, and free of bacteria.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
Add a quarter cup of vinegar to warm water and soak the affected foot or apply diluted ACV directly onto the toenail. While diluted apple cider vinegar doesn’t cure an already existing bacterial infection, its anti-bacterial properties keep the area clean as it heals.
4. Dental Floss Under the Nail
Placing dental floss or cotton wisps under the ingrown nail works by shifting the nail to grow in the right direction. Lift up the corner of the nail and place a small rolled-up cotton between the nail and the skin.
5. Avoid High Heels and Tight Shoes
While high heels make women look taller and sexier, you need to avoid them if you want the ingrown toenail to heal. These shoes cause pressure to the area, which contributes to pain and delay in healing. Tight shoes also cause this problem. The best would be to stick with wearing sandals, which allow the nail to heal correctly.
6. Use Essential Oils to Help Reduce Inflammation and Pain
You can create your own blend by combining lavender, clove, tea tree oil, Cyprus, and rosemary with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Blend well and massage the oil onto the affected nail. This solution provides the area with a healthier environment with which to heal.
Homemade Ingrown Toenail Ointment Recipe
- 2 ounces aloe vera gel
- 2 ounces coconut oil
- 1 drop oregano oil
- 2 drops peppermint oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus oil
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 5 drops lavender oil
Put all the ingredients in a small jar and stir until well-blended, using a small spoon. Cleanse and rinse the toe, and then apply the ointment on the area.