How To Get Rid Of An Ingrown Fingernail

An ingrown fingernail is when the nail grows into the skin, either on one side or both. According to Healthline, an ingrown nail typically happens to toenails because feet are squeezed into shoes most of the day, sometimes in pairs that don't fit well. However, ingrown nails can also happen to fingernails, but it's not as common due to how fingernails grow. To keep the fingernail in place, there are ridges on your fingernail that connect to ridges on your skin underneath the fingernail. When the connection between these two ridges is broken, it can cause the nail to grow into the skin.

Ingrown fingernails can be caused by a number of reasons. For example, Verywell Health reports an ingrown fingernail often happens when a nail is cut improperly. However, washing your hands frequently, getting manicures, or simply having curved fingernails can also lead to an ingrown fingernail. Symptoms of an ingrown fingernail include pain, tenderness, throbbing, swelling, or redness. Treatment is vital, as an untreated ingrown fingernail can lead to infection or severe pain.

Prevention and treatment of ingrown fingernails

In most cases of ingrown fingernails, treatment takes place at home and rarely at a doctor's office. There are certain people who should reach out to their doctor for ingrown fingernail treatment, such as those with diabetes, neuropathy, and circulation problems, MedicalNewsToday reports. Otherwise, you can get rid of mild ingrown fingernails by soaking the affected finger in warm salt water for about 15 to 20 minutes. This can help the nail to grow outwards instead of into the skin. Then, rinse and dry the finger off, and apply ointment before wrapping it in cotton or gauze. If possible, use dental floss to separate the nail and skin.

Depending on the severity of your ingrown fingernail, it can take days to weeks for the nail and skin to feel better or heal. According to MedicineNet, an ingrown fingernail with no signs of redness or pus will recover in a couple of days, but it can take up to two weeks for an ingrown nail to heal completely.