How To Treat Ingrown Fingernail: Causes and Removal

by Mousumi Mukherjee
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All of us know that our hands enable us to perform everyday works, earn our livelihood & feed ourselves. But, what if the fingers of that very hands start troubling you due to your ingrown fingernails? It’s very tough to describe the discomfort in that situation. But, what is destined to happen, happens & so are the ingrown fingernails. Also, they get infected sometimes. But, isn’t there any remedy to treat your ingrown fingernail? How to get rid of an ingrown fingernail? No need to worry! We will impart you detailed knowledge about an ingrown fingernail.

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What Actually An Ingrown Fingernail Is?

The nail & skin of our hands are made of keratin, one kind of protein. These dense layers of cells of keratin push to our fingers’ surface & our nails are formed. The skin ridges underneath our nails resemble the ridges on our nails & so our nails remain in the places they are.

As soon as the shape of our nails changes, the connection between the ridges that help to stay out nails in their places becomes weak. And, hence, we find that our nails have grown into the sides of our skin or in its corners. Such nails are actually the ingrown nails which we are speaking about.

An ingrown nail can happen for a number of reasons. They are:

  • Wound
  • Fungal infection
  • Too fast/too slow growth
  • Inappropriate trimming like leaving the spike of a nail on the end
  • Biting of nails, etc.

An ingrown fingernail sometimes results in an infection. The infection usually happens in the tissues that surround our fingernail/toenail & is called Paronychia. Besides, ingrown fingernails also result in pain, redness & swelling. So difficult to bear such things, right? Thank God! The problem of Ingrown fingernails is treatable at home.

How To Remove Ingrown Fingernail Through Self-treatment:

How To Remove Ingrown Fingernail Through Self-treatment
How To Remove Ingrown Fingernail Through Self-treatment

As we have asserted above that an ingrown nail finger is self-treatable at home, the only thing you have to ensure about it is that you don’t have diabetes or any other medical condition. If these medical conditions don’t pose risk to your body by staying inside your body, then you may successfully treat your infected fingernail with the comfort of your home. For that, you just have to follow a few simple steps:

  • Give warm compresses on your fingernail or keep your finger in soapy & warm water at least for ten to twenty minutes. Do this two times a day.
  • Put antibiotic cream or antifungal cream over the affected areas
  • Use a sterile bandage to cover up the infected area.

By following the above steps, you will gradually feel relief from the pain.

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How To Treat Ingrown Fingernail Medically?

Though an ingrown fingernail is self-treatable, it is always better to confirm it from a doctor. You will see that your doctor is recommending you to follow any one of the many medical procedures. This is because a severe infection like an abscess may happen from an ingrown fingernail. The medical procedures involve:

Insertion Of Cotton Gauze

Inserting a cotton wedge between your nail helps to relieve you from pain & stimulate your nail to grow in the right way. Your physician will gently lift up your nail & put in a little medicated cotton piece in between the nail of your finger or the inflamed skin beside your nail. The cotton gauze will help relieve pressure by segregating your nail from your skin slightly. The doctor recommends changing the cotton gauze at least one time per day. Do this until your nail gets repaired & healed.

Threading Of Dental Floss

The side of the fingernail indeed hurts when the nails are extra grown from the sides. But, your doctor will do ingrown fingernail treatment by threading dental floss under your nail’s ingrown edge. He will insert a waxed dental floss under your nail as it is difficult to put cotton gauze under your nail. He will soak & wash his hands properly & will then gently do the threading.

Removal Of The Extra Part Of Nail

If the above methods don’t work, your health professional will remove the problem-causing part of your nail (ingrown nail). Those persons whose ingrown nails repeatedly come time & again are suggested by the doctors to go for an in-office nail removal at the doctor’s chamber.

What are the symptoms of nail infections occurring due to ingrown nail?

The ingrown fingernail infections caused by bacteria or fungi can be detected through the following symptoms:

  • Discomfort & pain
  • Inflammation of skin or redness
  • Discharge of fluid or pus 
  • Fever
  • Reddish spot on your skin

How To Prevent Ingrown Fingernail Infections?

Washing hands properly can sometimes help to prevent this type of infection. CDC recommends every person to scrub their hands at least for twenty seconds & that too with soap other than running water. Also, it advises people, especially those having long fingernails, to wash underneath their nails very carefully so that no germ or bacteria gets encouragement to stay there.

Besides, in case one gets a cut in his skin, he should immediately cover it with an ointment (antibiotic). He should also afterwards cover the wounded place with the help of a clean bandage. It will help to keep the germs or bacteria out of the wounded or injured place.

How To Prevent Ingrown Fingernail Through Trimming?

The main cause of an ingrown fingernail is chopping your nails too short. And, the solution to it is trimming your nail the right way. So, here is a step by step guide to proper trimming of your fingernail:

Soak your nails

We all know that the softer the nail is easier to trim. And, soaking in warm water will always make your nails softer.

Cut nails with clean & sharp clippers

It is always good to disinfect your nail clipper & emery boards before you use them. If not every day, do it at least once every month by rubbing them with alcohol. Never use rusted, dull, or worn-out clippers.

Use Proper Clipper For Trimming Your Fingernail

Some people use toenail clippers for trimming fingernails & vice versa. It must never be done. Using a proper clipper is very necessary for cutting respective nails.

Do Straight Across Cutting Of Nails

Doctors never recommend patients cut the edges of their nails shorter. So, it’s always wise to avoid that.

Round-Up The Edges Of Your Nails Gently

While trimming your nails, always make use of a sterile nail file & emery board to round up the edges of your nails gently.

Avoid Cutting The Cuticles Of Your Nail

Cuticles of your nails act as a protective layer for your nails & hence their trimming heightens the danger of infection.

Moisturize your hand & fingers using moisturizer cream

Moisturizing your hand & fingers properly using a moisturizer cream will ensure that your hands or fingers never get dry & cracked and hence less chance of developing an ingrown fingernail.

Visit The Chamber Of Your Doctor For Any Kind Of Change In Your Nail

Nails having different colours, shapes & textures may be a reason for an underlying health issue. So, it’s always better to get your nail checked up by a doctor before it is too late. Thus, never hesitate to visit the doctor’s chamber if you are confronting any doubt, that is coming time & again in your mind.

Wrapping Up

Ingrown nail is never a serious problem & can be easily treatable at home. Several home remedies come to help when it’s just a simple case of an ingrown nail. However, in case you are seeing signs & symptoms of any infection in your nail, never take chance & immediately consult the doctor.

FAQS

Q1. How do I know if I have an ingrown fingernail?

Ans. Answer: The symptoms of an ingrown fingernail include:

. Discomfort & pain
. Inflammation of skin or redness
. Discharge of fluid or pus 
. Fever
. Reddish spot on your skin
. Bleeding
. Skin folding over the nail

Q2. How does ingrown fingernail happen?

Answer: The nail & skin of our hands are made of keratin, one kind of protein. These dense layers of cells of keratin push to our fingers’ surface & our nails are formed. The skin ridges underneath our nails resemble the ridges on our nails & so our nails remain in the places they are.

As soon as the shape of our nails changes, the connection between the ridges that help to stay out nails in their places becomes weak. And, hence, we find that our nails have grown into the sides of our skin or in its corners. Such nails are actually ingrown nails.

An ingrown nail can happen for a number of reasons. They are:

. Wound
. Fungal infection
. Too fast/too slow growth
. Inappropriate trimming like leaving the spike of a nail on the end
. Biting of nails, etc.

Q3. How do you get rid of an ingrown fingernail at home?

Answer: An ingrown nail finger is self-treatable at home. For treating ingrown fingernail at home, you just have to follow a few simple steps:

. Give warm compresses on your fingernail or keep your finger in soapy & warm water at least for ten to twenty minutes. Do this two times a day.
. put antibiotic cream or antifungal cream over the affected areas
. Use a sterile bandage to cover up the infected area.

By following the above steps, you will gradually feel relief from the pain.

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