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Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown-toenailWhen a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe.

If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection inthe area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odour. However, even if the toe isn't painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.


Causes of ingrown toenails include:

Heredity. In many people, the tendency for ingrown toenails is inherited.

Trauma.    Sometimes an ingrown toenail is the result of trauma, such as stubbing your toe,having an object fall on your toe, or engaging in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes, such as kicking or running.

Improper trimming. The most common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting your nails too short. This encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail.

Improperly sized footwear. Ingrown toenails can result from wearing socks and shoes that are tight or short.

Nail Conditions. Ingrown toenails can be caused by nail problems, such as fungal infections or losing a nail due to trauma.

Treatment:

Conservative;

Sometimes, the offending portion of the nail can be removed by your Podiatrist. A dressing programme is then issued and education upon caring for your nails in the future.

Surgical;


After examining the toe, your podiatrist will select the treatment best suited for you. If an infection is present, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.

Sometimes a minor surgical procedure, often performed in the office, will ease the pain and remove the offending nail. After applying a local anaesthetic, the Podiatrist removes part of the nail's side border, so the nail never grows in again.

Following the nail procedure, a light bandage will be applied. Most people experience very little pain after surgery and may resume normal activity the next day.