Are you in pain? Ingrown toenails can be the worst! But do you know that you could use essential oils to possibly help support the immune system and help relieve the discomfort of ingrown toenail?
When part of your toenail begins growing into the skin around it, you will end up with an ingrown toenail. Rarely do ingrown toenails heal themselves; however, you may be able to treat the problem at home by using essential oils.
If you do nothing for your ingrown nail, it could become infected and you may experience a great deal of pain.
Some of the most common causes of an ingrown toenail include:
Wearing shoes that crowd the toenails, such as heels or any shoes that are too tight (this is the No. 1 risk factor for ingrown toenails, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS))
Cutting toenails too short or not straight across
Injuring the toenail
Having unusually curved toenails
Subungual exostosis (an outgrowth of bone from the tip of the toe)
Use of isotretinoin in the treatment of severe acne
Best Essential Oils for Ingrown Toenails
1. Apply Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is very gentle and contains anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It helps to get relieved from pain and reduce inflammation caused due to an ingrown toenail.
Tea tree oil is mostly prepared by using an Australian tea tree. The oil is extracted by steaming the leaves.
This essential oil is very effective in treating fungal infections, acne, insect bites, and athlete’s foot as it contains anti-bacterial properties.
You can put a few drops of tea tree oil and one cup of Epsom salt in hot water. Now soak your feet for at least 15 to 20 minutes in this solution.
Then dry your feet. This will reduce swelling and pain caused due to an ingrown nail. Tea tree oil should only be used topically. And if it is used orally then it can be toxic.
3. Peppermint Oil to Relieve Pain
Peppermint essential oil is very effective in treating infection and reduces pain caused due to an ingrown toenail. This oil also redirects the nail growth.
4. Thieves Essential Oil for Ingrown Toenail
The Thieves essential oil is very effective in treating ingrown toenails. Thieves’ essential oil is prepared by blending several other essential oils like cinnamon bark, lemon, clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus. This oil is very effective in reducing pain and treating infection.
Apply one drop of this essential oil in the area of the ingrown toenail. Let the oil to penetrate between the nail and the skin by pulling the skin away from the nail gently.
This oil will reduce the pain and swelling in no time.
5. Treating Ingrown Toenail With White Flower Oil
Using this oil can treat ingrown toenail in no time. This Chinese healing oil can be used directly on the ingrown toenail.
Before applying oregano oil is should be diluted with any other carrier oil. Oregano essential oil contains antibacterial properties that help to reduce pain and treat skin irritation.
How to Prevent/Other Remedies of Ingrown Toenails
1. Soak or Wash the Foot
Soaking the foot in warm, soapy water can be very beneficial in helping keep the area clean and free of bacteria. Soak the foot in warm water three to four times per day.
You can add Epsom salt to the water to soften the skin of the affected area, which could make it easier to draw out the toenail from the skin.
2. Wash with Castile Soap
If soaking doesn’t work well with your schedule, you can try washing the foot and offending nail twice a day with soap and water. You may want to consider Castile soap due to its natural and pure ingredients. Make sure to keep the foot clean and dry.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
Apple cider vinegar can help as a natural treatment for an ingrown toenail. You can try adding a quarter cup of vinegar to warm water for a foot soak or direct application of apple cider vinegar that has been diluted with purified water, which conditions ingrown nails to fight bacteria that may try to form.
While applying diluted apple cider vinegar to a wound may stave off infection, it may not cure an existing bacterial infection. However, it has antibacterial characteristics that can help keep the area clean as it heals.
4. Dental Floss Under the Nail
Placing cotton wisps or dental floss under the ingrown nail border can help by shifting the nail to grow in the correct direction instead of down into the skin.
Try to lift up the corner of the nail that’s digging into the skin. Take a very small piece of cotton or gauze and roll it between the fingers to form a small roll or wick. Place it between the nail plate and the nail folds.
For a gentler method, use the dental floss, but make sure it’s not a flavored version as that could cause a burning sensation. The idea is to keep the nail elevated long enough to allow it to grow out and away from the skin. This is uncomfortable but effective.
Another helpful step you can take after every soaking is to try to push the roll a little farther in. Make sure to change the roll out every day. It may take one to two weeks for the nail to grow out, so be patient.
In some cases, you may need to carefully cut the nail to get underneath it. Below I have included step-by-step instructions on how to cut the nail.
5. Avoid High Heels and Tight Shoes
I know many women enjoy the look of high heels, but if you want the ingrown toenail to remedy quickly, you should avoid these shoes. They can cause more pressure to be placed in the affected area, and that’s likely to cause a big delay in healing as well as pain.
Tight-fitting shoes of any kind can cause this problem. Sandals can be helpful, allowing the nail the freedom to heal correctly.
Try some essential oils in the next time you need to treat an ingrown toenail as a natural option that will quicken the healing period and get you up and running (or doing yoga, or pole-vaulting) once again. If you try this oils for your ingrown toenail and are still having problems with it, you may need to go to the doctor.
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