Here's what causes ingrown toenails and how to get rid of them at home

Ingrown toenails hurt. If left untreated, they can progress from being red, painful and inflamed to being infected. Obviously, you need to take care of the toe and offending toenail, but how do you?
Doctors are expensive, so if you can avoid a visit for an ingrown toenail, that's money in your pocket. Check out the 4 causes of an ingrown toenail and 5 ways to treat them below.
1. Tight shoes. Wearing shoes that too tight in the toes puts pressure on the nails and forces them into the flesh underneath. The Mayo Clinic says that if you constantly wear shoes that are too tight, you can create ingrown toenails.
2. Straight, shortcuts. Another cause of ingrown toenails is the way you cut your nails. If you cut them too short or straight across, you could be creating a problem.
3. Curvature. Medical News Today adds this fact. If you have nails that are unusually curved, they may be more prone to becoming ingrown.
4. Injury. The nails protect the toes, but they don't like to be abused. Doing something that injures the nail can be the cause of an ingrown toenail.
1. Soak it. The first thing you can try, according to Dr. Axe, is soaking your toe in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times a day.
2. Lift it. To keep the nail from becoming infected, or if it has already moved that direction, try lifting the nail from the toe. After soaking the toe, the Mayo Clinic recommends placing cotton or waxed dental floss under the nail to keep it lifted from the foot. You would need to replace this regularly. Covering it with a bandage may also be advantageous.
3. Apply antibiotic ointment. Another tip to keep the toe from becoming infected is to apply antibiotic ointment.
4. Let it breathe. Since shoes that are too tight cause ingrown toe nails, making a point to wear open-toed or loose-fitting shoes can help. Medical News Today says to avoid wearing shoes that pinch.
5. Don't cut it. Keep from cutting the toenail too much. Let it grow out longer than normal so that you can better control how it's growing.
Take control of your toenails back. Being informed may make all the difference between pain and comfort, a doctor's visit and money in your pocket.
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