I'm here today to talk about how to treat ingrown toenails. So, one of the reasons how you get ingrown toenails is basically the edge or the corner of the nail cuts into the skin at the edge or end of the toe. Usually, it happens on the big toe on the sides. The two main reasons are: because of ill-fitting shoes; they're too tight, pointy, or high-heels. That causes the toes to squeeze together and the nail to curl into the skin. The other main reason is they're not cut properly - you want to cut them so it's a straight line all the way across the nail, because otherwise if you cut them with the slant at the corners then they can grow into the sides. There are some other rarer reasons.
Sometimes if your nails has been ripped off or peeled off, that can cause an ingrown toenail. Aging, or fungal nail infections can cause the nail to become thicker and wider, and then it just pushes into the sides of the skin. And also, some medical treatment such as:. Or Acitretin - used for psoriasis, acne - they can cause the nail to thicken and again press into the sides of the skin. So, there's three different stages of ingrown toenail. Stage one is basically when it just goes a little bit red and a bit sore and swollen. And stage two is those symptoms get worse, but also a little bit of watery, yellowy whitish pus that comes out and maybe a bit more sore. And the stage three is very painful and there's lots more pus but also particularly you get extra tissue - soft tissue - growing around the area of ingrown nail and that just makes all the symptoms worse.
The stages two and three can be associated with bacterial infection and so might need anti-biotic cream or tablets, depending on the severity of the infection. So, to treat stage one you can actually do that quite simply at home. Just need to soak your foot in warm, hot water or in a bath.
At least try in for about four times a day. And you need to wash your feet in soapy, hot water twice a day. Whenever you do soak your feet, you need to dry them properly and just take a small, small amount of cotton or gauze, gently lift up the edge of the toenail which is ingrown. That will be painful, but you do need to do this, because then you'll just put the gauze or the cotton into that bit and that will let the nail grow out and prevent it from growing in and digging in to the skin. So, you must do this every time you soak your feet. So, about two to four times a day if you can. It will be painful, but it will be worth it in the long-run because it will prevent it from getting worse. Stage two is, you still do the above processors, but also you might need a cream and anti-biotic cream or anti-biotic tablet if there's an infection.
And local anesthetic cream can help reduce the pain as well. You can get Lidocaine gel for that, which is quite useful. Then stage three is when you get this extra tissue growing and pus and infection. That's really - can be quite bad so you do need surgery for that, where they put a bit of local anesthetic. So, by this time I'm hoping that you've gone to your GP and that's for referral. And the doctor will then put a bit of local anesthetic into the toe to numb it so you won't feel anything. And then what they do is, they cut the edge of the nail that's affected and they kill off the nail cells where the nail has been to prevent recurrence.
They also get rid of that extra tissue that's grown. And they give you antibiotics as well to cover the infection. So, to prevent ingrown toenails in the first place you need to keep your feet clean and dry, cut them straight across when you're cutting your nails. And don't wear narrow, ill-fitting shoes. So, I hope that's been useful in treating in-grown toenails and thank you for listening.
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