An ingrown toenail can be quite painful, and it’s even more annoying because they usually happen at the worst possible moment. They are very common even among people who take great care of their toes. You don’t need to do anything weird to get them, they can happen to you just as easily as a hangnail or any other cuticle problem. You might think that after all this time, science would have found a way to prevent ingrown toenails, but no such luck. Luckily, there are things you can do about it when it happens so it doesn’t become something that recurs again and again in your life. Once you know how to fix an ingrown toenail with dental floss, you won’t have much trouble making things better again sooner rather than later.
How to Fix an Ingrown Toenail with Dental Floss
- Cut the ingrown toenail out of the nail bed.
- Clean and disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply a topical anesthetic such as lidocaine gel or any other over-the-counter product that is indicated for your skin type.
- Use floss to gently push out the ingrown toenail and surrounding tissue from the nail bed.
- Use a bandage to cover the area for about a week until it heals completely and has stopped bleeding or oozing pus, which is when it should be safe for you to take off by yourself if you are able to do so safely, but don’t do it too soon because prolonged exposure can cause infection and pain again later on.
What Is An Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin instead of back towards the toe like it should. The most common cause of an ingrown toenail is improper toenail clipping, but they can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or too tight, improper foot hygiene, injury to the toe, genetics, or any combination of the above. If a toenail grows into the skin, it becomes infected, which causes the area to become inflamed and painful. The nail can also curl under and pierce the skin, which will cause it to be incredibly painful and can lead to an infection.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
Poor Toenail Clipping
If you cut your toenails too short and the edges grow into the skin, you will end up with an ingrown toenail. It is also possible for an ingrown toenail to be caused by cutting the nails too short, but this is more likely if there are already ingrown nails on the toe.
Wearing Shoes that are Too Small
It is important to make sure your shoes fit properly and are not too tight or too loose because they can cause pressure against the toe while walking or standing that can cause a problem similar to cutting your nails too short. If there is a gap between your foot and the shoe or it is uncomfortable, it is possible for ingrown nails or fungus under the nail bed to develop. If you have had any sort of injury, such as osteoarthritis in one of your knees, you should be extra careful about wearing shoes that fit well because they can contribute to inflammation in your feet.
Improper Foot Hygiene
If you don’t wash your feet often enough, bacteria can build up under your nail bed causing an infection if it grows into it and causes a problem called athlete’s foot which causes redness and swelling in between the toes, as well as blackened skin around them if left untreated for long enough. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or poor circulation in general, a fungus called tinea pedis may also develop under your nail bed.
Injury to the Toe
If you have had any sort of injury to your toe, such as frostbite, you can easily end up with an ingrown toenail if you do not treat it properly, but it is also possible for an ingrown nail to occur if there is a fracture or scraping of the skin on the underside of the toe that causes a problem with blood flow, which in turn can cause an ingrown nail. It is also possible for an ingrown nail to occur due to trauma during surgery for broken or cracked bones in one or both feet.
It is possible for an ingrown nail to develop depending on your genetics because it may be hereditary and run in your family. There are some people who are born with this condition and they may need medical attention from their doctor at birth, which will include filing down the edge of the nails so they do not grow into the skin and cause an infection that leads to pain and inflammation around them.
Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail
The pain that is caused by an ingrown toenail is usually sharp and throbbing, but it can also be dull and throbbing as well. It may feel as if you have a hot spot or a blister on your foot.
If the ingrown nail has been left untreated for long enough, it will develop a blackened or purplish appearance which can cause swelling in and around the affected area.
If the infection is not treated correctly and left untreated, it can lead to an abscess under the nail which causes redness in between the toes and may even require antibiotics if left untreated for too long.
Injury to Skin on Toe Side of Nail Bed
If you have any sort of injury to your toe, such as frostbite, you can easily end up with an ingrown toenail if you do not treat it properly.
If there is a problem with blood flow in the area where the ingrown nail has occurred and it causes an infection, it will become extremely painful and cause inflammation under the nail which can lead to a skin infection that causes blackened skin on the underside of the toe.
There are some people who are born with this condition and they may need medical attention from their doctor at birth which will include filing down the edge of the nails so they do not grow into the skin and cause an infection that leads to pain and inflammation around them.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment
As mentioned above, there are three different ways that you can treat an ingrown nail: topical remedies, surgery, or a combination of both. The topical remedies include applying warm compresses or warming pads to your foot for about five minutes every hour for a few days until your nails start to grow out again or you see improvement in your symptoms of pain and swelling caused by ingrown nails.
If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you know how horrible they can be. They are very painful, and they can even lead to infection if they’re not treated quickly and carefully. Luckily, they can be easily treated with a few simple steps, such as soaking the foot, trimming the skin around the nail, pushing the nail out with dental floss, and keeping the wound clean. If you are worried that you have an ingrown toenail, you can check for symptoms, such as redness, swelling, warmth, discoloration, or a change in the texture of the nail. It can be hard to know for sure without help, so talk to a doctor if you’re not sure.