When one thinks of an ingrown nail, the first thought that comes to mind is usually an ingrown toenail, but an ingrown fingernail can occur just as well. An ingrown fingernail usually happens when there has been improper care of the nail such as biting of the nail, trimming the nails incorrectly, or it can be due to injury of the nail bed.
While an ingrown fingernail is rare, it can be treated in various ways such as by a doctor and at home care. It is best to learn what an ingrown fingernail looks like, or if you have any concern about your fingernails to go to your physician and have the condition checked out. Receiving early care by a doctor will reduce your chance of the ingrown fingernail becoming infected. Once you get to your health care provider he or she can do many things to start the treatment process. The first step in treating the nail is more than likely is to reshape it. This step can include trimming the nail into a correct shape, and shaping it so the nail doesn’t penetrate the surrounding skin any further. The health care provider may even trim any extra skin that is around the ingrown nail as well. Medication to prevent infection may be given topically or orally such as in the form of an antibiotic pill or cream. Lastly, pain medication may be prescribed based on how intense your pain factor is.
After receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment from a doctor, one can treat the ingrown fingernail at home. You can soak the nail that’s ingrown in some warm salt water multiple times a day to relieve any discomfort and/or swelling that may occur. Soaking the nail also makes for easier clipping, if need be. Be sure to dry thoroughly afterward so that moisture doesn’t get trapped underneath. Rubbing an ointment that is antibacterial after soaking the nail, will also help prevent any bacteria from breeding as well. To prevent further injury to your ingrown fingernail, especially if you play sports, you should request a finger splint from your health care provider as well as keep a bandage on your fingernail. Be sure to change your bandage often to keep the area around your nail as clean as possible . Massaging the skin around the fingernail with olive oil or other moisturizing element also helps with the fingernail, as it prevents bacteria from entering small cracks within the skin.
Having an ingrown fingernail can be painful, but if it is taken care of immediately, it can be remedied before it becomes worse.