Ingrown Toenail Infections are surprisingly common, and they usually occur due to negligence.
Read this article to learn more about ingrown toenail infections, their symptoms, and how to treat fungal toenail.
What Are Ingrown Toenail Infections?
It is necessary to know what you’re looking for when self-diagnosing yourself with an infection. You can’t confirm something unless you know what it is. So, what exactly is an Ingrown Toenail Infection?
Ingrown Toenails occur when the edge or corner tip of your nail pierces into your skin and then begins to grow back into it. It can happen to everyone and is extremely common and can also be quite painful to deal with. When you have an unattended ingrown nail, chances of infections run high, especially if you’re on your toes a lot! When left unattended, these infections can spread into the underlying bone structures of your feet. Which is why it’s always best to nip these painful growths at the bud!
How Do Ingrown Toenail Infections Form?
The main cause of nail infections like these is negligence. When you have an ingrown nail, it is important to treat it with utmost care so as to not let it get infected. If you notice an ingrown nail, you must treat it so you can prevent infections from spreading into your foot.
You can get ingrown toenails from cutting your toenails too short or keeping them too long, wearing improper footwear, angled nail cutting, toenail injury, and poor foot hygiene.
Sometimes, it’s genetic too. If you have a genetic predisposition to having curved toenails, you are at high risk for ingrowths and infections.
The best way to prevent these infections is to maintain proper foot hygiene, remember to cut your nails straight, wear shoes that fit you comfortably and check in with your podiatrist if something seems amiss.
Ingrown Toenail Symptoms
In order to avoid nail infections like ingrown toenail infections, it’s important to recognize ingrown toenail symptoms in their early stages. This way, you can get the treatment you need at the earliest.
You may be dealing with an ingrown toenail if:
– You have tenderness/pain in your toe on one or both sides of the nail
– The area surrounding your toenail is red
– Your toe swells up around the nail
– You notice infection in the tissue around your nail
If you notice the above symptoms, visit a podiatrist and nip the issue at the bud before negligence turns it into a full-blown nail infection.
How To Tell If It’s A Nail Infection
In case you’ve landed on this article too late, and your ingrown toenail looks like it’s infected, but you’re unsure… Here are a few sure-shot symptoms that indicate you’re dealing with a nail infection:
– Pain on touching
– Pressure under the nail
– Hardening / Redness of the skin around the nail
– Foul smell
– Oozing fluid / fluid buildup
– Pus or an abscess in the affected toe
– Warmth emanating from the area around the nail
What Does Toenail Fungus Look Like?
A very common question that gets asked is “what does toenail fungus look like?”. It’s good to know the symptoms so you can know how to treat your fungal toenail.
What does toenail fungus look like, you ask? Here’s your answer:
– A change in colour of your toenail, to either yellow, brown, and even white
– Thickened and often misshapen looking toenail
– Chalkiness / cloudiness in spots on your toenail
– Your toenail is separated from your nail bed
– Lots of breaks and cracks in one or multiple spots on your toenail
There are many ways toenail fungus can alter the visual appearance of your toenails. That’s why it’s important to know what it looks like, so you can treat it before it gets more serious.
If you find yourself noticing any of the above symptoms, you may just be dealing with toenail fungus and you should seek treatment with a podiatrist accordingly.
How To Treat Fungal Toenail
There are lots of different at-home treatments for toenail fungus. Which one is most effective to you depends on your situation and symptoms. Our podiatrists will be able to properly diagnose and treat your fungal toenail efficiently. In general, oral antifungal medicines are very effective and have great potential. You may even pair these pills with topical antifungal cream / medicine for best results.
Apart from that, there are a few home remedies:
– Snakeroot Extract: Sometimes the best solutions are found in nature. The extract of this antifungal plant can be used to treat fungal nail infections, and has proved to be as effective as ciclopirox, a drug-store anti-fungal treatment.
– Ozone Oils: Oils like sunflower oil and olive oil are oils that contain the same gases that exist in the ozone layer. Many studies have been conducted that have concluded that these “ozonized” oils are effective when it comes to treating nail fungus and may just be the best home remedy on how to get rid of a nail infection. In fact, a study took place in which sunflower oil had higher clinical effects than a common antifungal medication called ketoconazole.
– Oregano Oil: Another proof of the effectiveness of nature is oregano oil. It contains “thymol”, a naturally occurring phenol that is said to have antifungal properties. In treatments, this oil is also combined with tea tree oil, but this increases the risk of negative side effects, irritation, and allergic reaction.
We recommend seeing a podiatrist, however, because at-home treatments can go south very quickly if not performed correctly.
We hope this article helped answer your questions surrounding ingrown toenail infections and how to treat fungal toenail. If you think you may be dealing with any issues related to your feet, book an appointment with Bucksfoot Clinic! We’d be happy to help you.