An ingrown toenail is a common nail condition of the feet that occurs when the nail is cut into the sides of the skin of the toe. It is often caused by the way the toenail is cut or the natural curve of the nail. Some of the common treatments include partial or total ingrown nail removal which will be done under local anaesthesia.
An ingrown toenail can cause serious pain when wearing shoes or walking. The condition usually starts when a nail grows into the skin of the toe, causing a small wound. In the beginning, the condition is rarely painful. However, if left untreated, the skin break will not heal and an infection can happen. The result is a red, hot, and swollen toe, often seen with pus discharging from the sides.
It is vital to understand that taking antibiotics or applying antiseptic ointment will not cure an infected ingrown toenail because the nail spike is still sitting in the flesh. These medications can only contain the infection.
Ingrown toenails are generally caused by the way you trim your nails or a change in the shape of the toenails. Individuals with toenails that are either highly curved, known as involuted nails, or very wide nail plates, are at high risk of developing ingrown toenails. Without proper treatment, it can lead to recurrent ingrown toenails.
Common causes of ingrown toenails include:
Factors that can lead to a change in nail shape:
Treatment options for ingrown toenails can provide either temporary pain relief or a permanent cure. Understanding the cause and likelihood of recurrence is essential before deciding the best treatment option.
At Straits Podiatry, we offer a permanent ingrown toenail treatment for as quickly as 30 minutes on the day of the appointment. This is done using a minimally invasive procedure known as partial nail avulsion with matrixectomy. It is a fast, painless and proven treatment, especially for recurrent cases.
Other treatment options include:
Repeated episodes of an ingrown toenail can easily happen once you have had it before, therefore it is essential to know how to prevent the condition from occurring.
Steps that you can do to prevent ingrown toenails from developing include:
Things you should do when you have an ingrown toenail:
Improper handling of an ingrowing toenail can result in serious infection, especially in patients with low immunity. Many patients often neglect the condition in its early stages and ended up with severe pain and infection. If you are experiencing pain at the sides of the toenail, look for a podiatrist to receive a proper ingrown toenail treatment.