Toenail pain is one of the most frequent conditions encountered in medical practice because most of the time people do not exercise proper foot care
which can prevent this pain. Here we will try our best to acquaint you with a few basic concepts about causation of toenail pain and their appropriate remedies, both at home and in hospital.
There's a long list of causes of toenail pain but a few common ones are highlighted here. An ingrown nail is considered the most common cause. Other causes include fungal infections, wearing loose fitting or tight fitting shoes, repetitive injuries to the nails, thickening of the nails due to chronic pressure, a few skin disorders like psoriasis, and malignant conditions of the skin and nail, like melanoma. Although rare, melanoma can be a cause of toenail pain.
That said and I quote that 'prevention is better than cure', and in the case of toenail pain, prevention lies in proper and adequate foot care. It includes regular washing of the feet with soap and then drying them with a clean towel to keep them free of infection. The sharing of towels and shoes should also be avoided. Moreover, proper nail trimming practices should be carried out in order to prevent an ingrown nail. The nail should be cut straight, so that the new nail does not grow in the skin. Proper selection of shoes is also very important, especially for athletes to have a comfortable run and prevent bruises causing toenail pain.
Despite these preventive measures if one manages to get toenail pain, simple home remedies should be tried because they have proved very effective. For ingrown toenails, you can soak your foot in warm water with iodine added to it for twenty minutes. Afterwards apply cotton to it. Done daily this can help a lot.
Vinegar has proved an effective antiseptic and antifungal in most of the fungal infections of the toenail. Tea tree oil is another good antiseptic and helps relieve the pain due to fungal infection. Toenail pain due to hematoma can be relieved by elevating the foot and keeping it above the level of the heart. Moreover, cold compressions also help relieve the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Aspirin help in providing comfort.
Once all these measures have failed then it is the right time to consult a podiatrist for an expert opinion. Do this as soon as possible in order to avoid further tissue damage and loss. In a hospital, it is the podiatrist who decides, according to the cause, whether conservative management or surgery is required for the battle plan against your toenail pain.
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