Ingrown nail infection is a common problem faced equally by children as well as adults. Indeed, the condition is painful, and nobody would like to suffer from an ingrown nail infection. Ingrown nails can occur either in the toes or in the fingers.
As compared to toenail infection, ingrown fingernail infection is less common.
What Causes Ingrown Fingernails?
Several factors are responsible for an ingrown fingernail infection. Poor nail care is one important reason for this condition. Nail biting habit is also responsible for an ingrown fingernail infection. An injury to the fingernails can also be a causative factor for this condition. Consistently cutting your nails incorrectly is also a leading cause for ingrown fingernail infection.
Sometimes the condition is also linked to heredity. If it runs into family, a person might end with the same problem.
Infected Ingrown Fingernail Symptoms
Ingrown finger nail can occur in any finger, but usually it is common in thumb, index and middle finger. In the beginning, the skin around the nail becomes hard, red and tender. Tenderness may interfere in holding any object with that finger. After a day or two, there is pulsating and throbbing pain with further reddening and swelling of skin and soft tissue.
In the second stage, infection sets in and there is a bulge over the side of nail. Patient now finds difficulty while writing and doing his daily chores. The area around the nail becomes warm and filled with pus. There may be slight bleeding from that area. Often the pain drives patient to become restless. It may not allow the patient to sleep at night. Rarely there may be associated fever.
Home Treatment For Ingrown Fingernail
Ingrown fingernail can be easily dealt with at home; especially when the condition is attended in the beginning where still the infection has not set in. however, you should not try to treat this condition at home if you are suffering from diabetes.
The first step is to soak your affected finger in warm water for about 20 minutes. You can add Epsom salt or baking soda in warm water. The aim is to make the skin surrounding the nail soft. Once the skin has become soft, you can slowly lift the injured nail from the finger and then trim it with a clipper or nail cutter. This step will prevent the nail from pressurizing the skin and soft tissue.
Besides, the nail will not dig into the soft tissue below the nail. Do not trim the nail very close, as it may do more harm than good. After trimming the nail, dry the area with a soft and clean cloth and apply coconut or olive oil in a gentle manner. You can also gently massage the oil in that area. Usually, the oil relieves pain. Instead of applying oil, you can also apply an antiseptic ointment.
Surgery becomes inevitable when the condition occurs repeatedly, or if there is lot of pain. Here the surgeon cuts the nail partly or removes the whole nail. Usually the procedure is carried out under local anesthesia. Once the nail is removed the new nail will re-grow, without digging in the skin in most cases.
To prevent ingrown fingernail, cut your nails in line with a clipper. Cut it in such a way that the corner of nails is visible. Avoid trimming the nails very short, as this might lead to ingrown fingernails.