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 four causes of an ingrown toenail and five ways to treat them below.
1. Tight shoes
Wearing shoes that are 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 trim them too short or straight across, you could be creating a problem.
3. Curvature
If you have nails that are unusually curved, they may be more prone to becoming ingrown, according to Medical News Today.
4. Injury
Toenails 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. 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 helpful.
3. Apply antibiotic ointment
Another tip to keep the toe from becoming infected is to apply antibiotic ointment.
4. Let it breathe
Because 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 because of pointy toes or being too small.
5. Don't cut it
Keep from cutting the toenail too much. Let it grow out longer than normal so you can better control how it's growing.
Take back control of your toenails. Being informed may make all the difference between pain and comfort, a doctor's visit and money in your pocket.
Resources does not give medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.