What is an ingrown toe-nail?
A painful disorder. Frequently the nail of the big toe which must be remedied as fast as possible. In most cases the chiropodist/ podiatrist can help you and relieve the pain immediately. While you are waiting for the treatment, hygiene is your most important concern! Bath your feet everyday in a bath of warm water with Dead Sea salt or soap, and soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes. If you have an open wound or infection you will need to apply after the bath Polydine on wounded area, and cover with a band aid. If your nail is infected, red, or very painful, it is recommended that you visit your family doctor who will give you antibiotic ointment or some other treatment which you doctor will advise. But never only an antibiotic ointment or Polydine. It must always be followed by professional treatment.
At times the treatment can be painful. Ask your chiropodist for an anesthetic spray to reduce pain! Your foot specialist may also advise you how to prevent an ingrown toenail in the future
WHAT CAUSES INGROWN TOENAILS?
1) Unsuitable shoes. Pressure from narrow shoes will force the cuticle across the nail. When your toe does not have enough space, and nail will be pushed more into the flesh.
2) Cutting nails in the wrong way. Nails must be cut straight across, and every nail must be perfectly controlled! When the nail is cut too short it you may first feel a sense of relief. But in most cases the results are worse than the initial problem.
3) The so-called ‘tunnel-nails’ (a hereditary problem) cause ingrown toenails. By no means should you treat your nails by yourself, as this may worsen the situation. Make an appointment with your chiropodist and meanwhile practice strict hygiene (see above: What is an ingrown toenail?)
4) Fungus nails may also cause an ingrown toenail! Treating your own nails with pure tea-tree ointment weakens the nail and causes further ingrown nails (tea tree, as an ointment for fungus is fine, but never use the pure kind only).
6) Teen-agers often develop ingrown toenails (suitable shoes, which are sufficiently wide is very important!)
7) Improper footwear and unsuitable shoes!
A good shoe offers enough space for the foot in both width and also ample room for toes. Change shoes regularly. Come home after a long day? Put on comfortable but good slippers (not Crocs!), and take a foot bath to feel refreshed and put on foot cream. Use semi-orthopedic shoes at home!