If you're experiencing the pain of an ingrown toenail for the first time, you might try anything to get some relief. However, digging around on your toe in an attempt to relieve pressure can lead to infection if you're not careful. The best thing to do is to make an appointment with your podiatrist and use this guide to take care of your foot before you get to your appointment.
Soak Your Foot
Soak your foot in a warm bath a couple times a day for a few minutes. Make sure the water is warm and not hot so you don't scald your feet. Mix in a couple tablespoons of Epsom Salt to provide relief to the skin surrounding the affected area.
Wear Sandals Or Wider Shoes
If you have an ingrown toenail, you'll have a lot more pain than necessary if you continue wearing shoes that constrict the toes too much. Your toes need room to wiggle and breathe.
Wear flip-flops or other sandals during warmer weather. If the current weather conditions are not conducive to sandals, pick up some shoes that are a bit wider in the toe area and have a little extra room at the end of the toes. You don't have to have a lot of extra room, so try just going up a half of a size to provide your toes with some relief.
Refrain from wearing your fabulous high heels during the time that you're experiencing pain from the ingrown toenail. Walking in high heels puts a lot of pressure on your toes, and you'll experience more pain. Opt for heels that are a half an inch to an inch high instead. Once the doctor takes care of the ingrown toenail, he or she will tell you when you can go back to the heels you love.
Clip Your Toenails Straight Across
If it's time to clip your toenails during an ingrown toenail episode, clip them straight across. If the sides of the nails are sharp use a nail file to file them down just a little. The length of your nails should be flush with the end of your toes. Shorter nails can become embedded in the skin as you're walking, because the pressure on the toes contracts the skin.
Refrain from clipping the affected nail. This area is already irritated and further irritation could cause an infection.
Only allow your doctor to repair your ingrown toenail. Playing doctor on your own provides an opportunity to create a cut in the area and you can risk potential infection. Ask your doctor for more ideas on providing ingrown toenail relief.
To learn more about ingrown toenails, contact a podiatry clinic like Lincoln Park Podiatry.