Those who suffer from this condition called ingrown fingernails only know, how uncomfortable and sometimes how painful it is to live with these ingrown fingernails! But what is ingrown fingernail at the first place? Ingrown fingernail is medically known as Onychocryptosis. It is there when the edge of one or more of your fingernails grow into the skin surrounding it.
Such an ingrown nail curves down into the surrounding skin of the nail as it grows. This causes the skin to grow over the nail and thus it is called ingrown fingernail. While any of your fingernails can become ingrown, the toenails and particularly the big toe nail, are more susceptible to this condition.
What are the Causes of Ingrown Fingernails
The most general cause of ingrown fingernail is the improper trimming of the nail. However, there may be many other causes.
- Ill-fitting shoes can cause ingrown toenail.
- Cutting nails incorrectly, as mentioned earlier, is the most common cause of ingrown nail.
- Injury to your nail or the skin around it may also lead to an ingrown nail.
- Sometimes heredity too plays a role in giving you ingrown nails.
- If you naturally have too large nails that curve naturally again, you are at an increased risk of having ingrown finger nails.
Whatever may be the cause for your ingrown fingernail, it may become infected if you leave it untreated.
Home Remedies to get rid of Ingrown Fingernail
If you notice redness, swelling and feel pain around your toenail or any other finger nail, check for an ingrown nail. These are the symptoms of ingrown finger nail. Sometimes there is pus drainage too that may indicate infection in that area. If so, you should immediately consult doctor. If there is still no infection, you can rely on the home treatment for ingrown fingernail. These include taking proper care of nails and using certain home remedies to get rid of ingrown fingernails as well as their symptoms.
Soak Ingrown Fingernail in Warm Water
Nothing soothes an inflamed area of your skin like warm water does. You don’t need anything else, just some warm water. Soak your finger in this warm water. Keep in mind the following tips.
- Warm water
- Take some warm water, enough to soak your affected finger or toe, in a bowl.
- Soak your finger with ingrown nail in this water.
- Let it soak for about 15-20 minutes.
- Now, take out your hand or foot and properly dry it with the towel.
- Remember, other than when you soak your fingers in warm water, they should remain dry. Keeping your fingers wet or even moist may lead to growth of bacteria or fungi and give you infection.
- Repeat the soaking procedure 3-4 times a day.
Once your nail and surrounding skin becomes soft after soaking, you can clip off the ingrown nail but do this only if you are able to see the thing clearly and easily. Do not aggravate the problem by pushing it deep into the skin while trying to clip it off.
Use Cotton Ball to Lift the Ingrown Nail
Our fingernails grow, on an average, 2-3 mm every month. While they are growing, if you can give them the proper direction, they might not grow into your skin surrounding the nail. You may take help of a humble cotton ball for this.
- Cotton ball or a small piece of cotton
- Tweezers (optional)
- Take the cotton piece and wedge it under the edge of your nail where there is an ingrown nail. You may take help of the tweezers, if needed. Do not, however, push too hard.
- This should be preferably done just after you have soaked your fingers in warm water (see the previous remedy).
- Just after soaking, both your nail and the surrounding skin are soft and flexible. Thus it would not give you pain or create much problem in lifting the nail as compared to then when your skin is rigid due to being dry.
- This act will lift away the ingrown nail and will enable it to grow against your skin and not into it.
- Keep doing this for few days till you get satisfied that now your nail is not in growing.
- Don’t let the cotton there for several hours and never for more than a day (in extreme cases though this is also not acceptable). This gives rise to chances of nail getting infected easily.