Ingrown nails whether they are your fingernails or toenails can cause swelling, pain, infection, and redness. The most common reasons for ingrown fingernail infection are nail-biting, wrong nail trimming, excessive fast or slow growth, and fungal infection.
Ingrown fingernail occurs, and they can get infected. Once you get an ingrown fingernail, it will be painful for you to perform daily tasks, such as writing, typing, or making dishes.
What does Ingrown Fingernail Mean?
As the name implies, ingrown nails grow into your skin instead of over your skin. When your nail shape changes, the ridges that grip the nail start loosening their connection. As a result, your nail starts growing into the corners or edges of your skin. This condition is known as an ingrown fingernail or ingrown nail.
Causes of Ingrown Fingernail
The following are some causes of the ingrown nail:
- Fungal infections
- Cutting fingernails unevenly or too short
- Inherit genes that cause ingrown fingernail
- Injured nail
- Wearing shoes that don’t match your size
How Ingrown Fingernail Gets Infected?
Once you get an ingrown fingernail infection, it will allow fungi or bacteria to enter the body via a crack in the skin. After this, bacteria will start spreading infection. You might seek help from your doctor if the infection gets worse. It may include:
- Nail pain
- Inflammation or redness
- Fluid or pus
- Difficulty in bending an affected finger
An infection named Paronychia infects the tissue around the toenail or fingernail. In most cases, the fingernail gets infected by the fungus Candida, or by Staphylococcus aureus, which is a common staph bacterium. Without treatment, if your infection remains, then there will be a risk of a more critical infection. And, it can cause permanent damage to your nail.
Apart from this, if your toenail gets infected, then you may have the symptoms:
- Pus or fluid coming out of your toe
Do You Know “Is Vitamin Water Zero Good For You?”
How to Get Rid of an Ingrown Fingernail?
The following ingrown fingernail treatment options include home remedies that are listed below:
- Lukewarm Water
You need to dip your affected finger in the lukewarm water for at least 15-20 minutes a day. This method helps in reducing the swelling of the affected finger. Ensure to pat your finger dry after soaking your finger because a wet finger can cause more problems.
- Use of Bandage or Cotton
You can use cotton under the edge of your nail after dipping your finger in warm water. This is because so you can pull your nail from the skin. If you do it regularly, then you can get relief from the ingrown fingernail.
- Use Epsom Salt Water
You can opt for another option to get rid of an ingrown fingernail is by using Epsom saltwater. Take a bowl fill with warm water, and add a few tablespoons of Epsom salt/quart of water. Let your fingernail soak for around 15-20 minutes. It can help in reducing pain and inflammation.
- Tea Tree Oil
The oil works well to treat infection in ingrown fingernails. Tea tree oil carries properties, including antibacterial and antifungal properties that make this oil the best remedy for healing ingrown fingernails. Get a bowl with lukewarm water with added few drops of tea tree oil.
And then, dip your hand in it for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a day.
You can also take few drops of tea tree oil and add one tablespoon of olive oil and rub it against the affected area.
- Vinegar Water
Ensure to use vinegar water to heal your ingrown finger. Mix 1 part of vinegar in water and soak your infected finger in it for 15-20 minutes. Once done, dry your finger and repeat the process for 2-3 days.
Ingrown Fingernail Medical Treatment Options
The following methods can treat your ingrown fingernail, so you can get a consultation from a doctor while opting for the following methods:
- Seek Help from Doctor
If your ingrown fingernail is getting worse, then you need to get help from your doctor. If the infection is getting deep, then a physician may suggest you get an oral antibiotic. As per the condition of your ingrown fingernail infection, the physician will prescribe you medicine or treatment.
- Surgically Lifting Nail
If an ingrown fingernail doesn’t contain pus, then maybe your physician wants to lift your nail. It means your nail will be separated from the skin, so it can allow your nail to grow on your skin. Once the nail is lifted, your doctor will place something between your skin and the nail to keep them separated.
- Surgically Remove Ingrown Fingernail
If you get an ingrown fingernail again and again, then your doctor may recommend surgical removal treatment. Most often, doctors go for partial nail avulsion.
You may interested to Read ” Is Vitamin Water Zero Good For You? ”
Complications Related to Ingrown Toenail
If we talk about ingrown toenails, then there are some complications related to them, and you need to know about them. You need special care if you are suffering from vascular problems, diabetes, or numbness in your toe. Make sure to get the best treatment before it gets worse. If ingrown toenails go untreated, then it can make your problem more critical.
Complications that can increase:
- Foot ulcer
- Losing a limb
- Bone infection
- Gangrene (rare complication)
What Else You Need to Do?
Ingrown nails are something that can increase your nail pain more and more if it goes untreated. However, make sure to prevent ingrown nail problems first. For example, avoid cutting nails too short because it can lead to an ingrown nail problem. Keep your nails clean and dry. Maybe some people will be aware of sweet potatoes are best for skin and nails. So, you can eat sweet potatoes.
Consider all the above points to recognize whether something is causing an ingrown nail, if yes, and then take care of it.