There’s the old saying about sticking out like a sore thumb. However, sometimes you have to deal with red or swollen fingernails. The cause could be injury or infection. There are many causes of red/swollen fingernails including ingrown nail, nail-biting, contacting irritants, etc. In other causes you might have smashed your finger by accident. In that case it’s important to treat the redness and swelling quickly because it could become more painful quickly. The good news is that there are several ways to treat your nails effectively.
Cool Down Swelling by Warm Water
This is a basic yet very effective way to treat red/swollen fingernails. Simply soak your fingers in warm water 4x every day. If you take this early step you might be able to avoid needing to take antibiotics. What’s important during the first stages of swollen fingernails is to soak the nail(s) in warm water and keep them clean. This can help to prevent the condition from becoming worse, which is definitely something you’ll want. This might seem like a very simple process, but it’s definitely effective if you want to avoid your fingernails from getting worse and needing more drastic treatments.
Tending Loving Cotton Care
One effective way to treat and prevent further infection is to use a small bit of cotton ball or gauze underneath the nail. This is a basic yet very effective way to treat a swollen nail that’s resulted from an ingrown fingernail. Keep placing a small piece of cotton underneath the nail until the nail has grown so it’s long enough to use fingernail clippers to trim the nail straight across. Not only will this help to treat the infection but also help to prevent future infection. That’s definitely a key as not only will you likely want to treat the infection but also prevent it from recurring.
Keeping It Clean
One of the main goals of treating a red/swollen fingernail should be to keep it clean. Fortunately this doesn’t have to be a complex or expensive process. For example, add a little over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotic ointment to the area that’s swollen on your fingernail. It should also be added to the edge of the nail that’s affected. Then wipe away any extra ointment.
You can also put a bandage on your finger in order to keep the region clean. After each time you soak the nail in warm water, add a fresh bandage. You should also take this step if the bandage gets wet before the next soaking. Another important step to take is to take off the bandage at night. This will let your finger’s nail breathe. In the case that you’re treating an ingrown nail, change the cotton/gauze underneath your fingernail in the case that it gets wet.
Add Ice to Injury
If your fingernail is swollen because of injury you should take certain steps. It’s critical to apply ice as quickly as possible to the nail. This will help to lower the amount of pain you’re experiencing, and also help to lower the swelling. You should also take an over-the-counter (OTC) paint reliever, such as ibuprofen. This will help to relieve any pain you’re suffering. Make sure to read the label of the painkiller carefully. Also, follow the directions to a tee.
Draining the Nail to Take Away the Pain
You might want to drain the fingernail in the case that the pain and pressure is too strong to bear. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking this step. It involves drilling/burning a very small hole in the nail, in order to allow built-up blood to escape.
These are some of the most effective ways to deal with red and sore fingernails.