What is Ingrown Fingernail? All Signs, Symptoms, Treatments, and Home Remedies to Know

Apr 22, 2021 03:15 PM

Photo by navee saengvitoon on Flickr
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Tripboba.com - Ingrown nails don't only happen to your toes, but they can also happen to your fingernails. Ingrown fingernails may sometimes cause pain, swelling, redness, and infection.

This makes everyday activities become difficult, such as typing on a keyboard or cleaning the dishes. But, little did you know that you can treat ingrown fingernails at home. You just need some tools and other media to heal your ingrown nails.

Check these easy home remedies on how to treat an ingrown fingernail, including the signs, symptoms, and other possible treatments!

What is an Ingrown Fingernail?

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Your skin and nails are composed of a substance called keratin. Nails develop as the thick layers of keratinized cells move to the surface of your skin. Ridges on your nails are the origin of skin ridges beneath your nails. It helps to keep the nails in place.

Can you get an ingrown fingernail?

If your nail shape changes, the ridges holding your nail in place can lose their connection, which will allow the nail to expand into your skin's sides or corners. This condition is what's commonly called an ingrown nail. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
  • Injury
  • Fungal infection
  • The growth that's too fast or too slow
  • Nail biting

Ingrown Fingernail Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of an Ingrown Nail? The signs and symptoms of an ingrown nail include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and/or even bleeding
  • Redness around a toenail, usually the big toe
  • Your skin folds over the nail
  • The sharp end of the nail will be pressing into the flesh on one or both sides of the nail.
  • Pus coming from the area around your nail

One or more signs could happen depending on the conditions. The certain condition requires a different kind of treatments. To check on the best treatments for ingrown fingernails, you can head to the next section!

How to Treat an Ingrown Fingernail

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"So, when I had an ingrown fingernail, how to fix it?"

How to treat an ingrown fingernail? There are various treatments and home remedies you can do to treat an ingrown fingernail depending on the condition. Here, Tripboba has compiled the best-ingrown fingernail home remedies and medical treatments for you!

Ingrown Fingernail Remedies to Try at Home

If the nail tends to press through the skin or bend downwards, it is definitely an ingrown nail. People with diabetes, neuropathy, or breathing problems should not try to treat the incubated nails at home.

For these cases, they will need to see a doctor for medical care. Wash the hands properly with soap and water before trying to remove the ingrown nail at home.

Some of the solutions that could help are as follows.

1. Soaking

Soaking the finger on its own can help the nail grow outward. It fits best with mild ingrown nails that do not cause pain or other signs. How to soak ingrown fingernail:

  • Fill the container up with warm saltwater.
  • You need 15–20 minutes to wash the injured hand in the water. • Rinse and dry with a towel.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment, then cover with a bandage loosely.

2. Use cotton or gauze

If soaking alone does not bring relief within a day or two, a person may gently try to encourage the nail to develop with cotton or gauze.

Take a little piece of clean gauze or cotton after soaking, then put it under the finger. This can help relieve pressure and pain, leaving the nail slightly separate from the skin. Replace the cotton at least once a day until the nail has healed and dried out.

3. Use dental floss

Often, putting a strip of cotton under the nail is too painful. For such cases, waxed dental floss can be easier to use. Gently insert a clean strip of dental floss under the nail's ingrown edge, after soaking and cleaning the hands.

Ingrown Fingernail Treatment (Medical)

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4. Seeing a doctor

When home treatment does not treat the ingrown nail, a health care provider should remove the part of the nail that causes the problem. Many people have repeated ingrown nails. For such cases, a doctor might consider taking an in-office procedure to remove the nail.

You can safely treat an infected fingernail at home unless you have diabetes or some medical problem that places you at significant risk. However, there are times when you have to see doctors due to unpleasant conditions of your ingrown fingernails.

5. Antibiotics or Antifungals Cream

One of the treatments you will be given when having an ingrown fingernail is antibiotics or antifungals cream. To apply the cream, the steps are as follows.

STEP 1. Apply warm compresses or soak your finger in soft, soapy water for at least 10 to 20 minutes, twice a day.

STEP 2. Apply cream of antibiotics or antifungals.

STEP 3. Make sure a sterile bandage has completely covered the infected area.

6. Cotton wedge

When an ingrown fingernail seriously infected, particularly if it develops an abscess, your doctor can prescribe one of many medical procedures. One of them is by using a cotton wedge.

You or your doctor can gently raise the nail between your nail and insert a small wedge of medicated cotton between the inflamed skin beside the nail. That also can ease the pain and help the nail to expand properly.

7. Draining an abscess

When the swallowed fingernail has grown into an abscess, it should be drained by a doctor. Before an incision is made to drain the pus, your finger should be numbed with local anesthesia.

If drainage is significant, the doctor can put a strip of gauze, or wick, in the incision so that it can continue to drain for a day or two.

Ingrown Fingernail Surgery

Ingrown Fingernail Surgery - Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

Ingrown fingernails rarely need surgery. Surgery with ingrown toenails is more common. If an ingrown nail does not heal on its own, you may need to see a doctor or dermatologist for a surgical procedure.

However, ingrown fingernail surgery may also be the best choice when ingrown nails continue to grow into the skin. Although nail growth may be nothing more than an annoyance at first, but then you may have long-lasting or worsening effects even if you have received the following treatments, These signs you may need to have further medical treatments, including:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • The skin around the nail getting harden
  • Skin irritation
  • Pain with the pressure
  • Bacterial infection (Signs such as redness, pus drainage, and a foul odor)
  • Necrosis
  • Difficulty in walking or using your hands (especially the infected ones)
Surgery is intended to head off these issues or help improve them if they have already occurred. It can also help prevent the nail from becoming ingrown again.

Please note that a few weeks after the operation, you must be prepared to keep your nails and surrounding skin clean. If you cannot do it for some reason, you will have to postpone the operation until you can.

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