What is an ingrown toenail?
A ingrown toenail is a medical condition that is caused by a piece of nail or nail spike that grows into the skin around your nail.
Ingrown toenails will usually affect a person’s big toes but can also affect the small toes.
What are the causes of an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails affect men and women equally.
They are found more commonly in people with sweaty feet.
Other factors that cause ingrown nails:
- Bad nail cutting
- Curved toe nails
- Trauma toe the toe
- Poor foot hygiene
- Tight fitting shoes
- Foot posture
- Sporting activities such as soccer, athletics and rugby
How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?
At first the skin around the nail may become red, tender, swollen or the skin can be hard. Pain may be present when you put pressure on the toe affected by an ingrown nail.
The area affected by the ingrown nail may become infected this will cause the toe to look red and shiny. Pain is present in the toe even if pressure is not applied to the toe. Pus or blood may ooze from the side of the infected nail. A hard callus may develop over the affected area of the ingrown toenail.
How do I treat my ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are treated with the help of a podiatrist.
Your podiatrist will usually remove the ingrown nail under local anesthetic or in theater.
The procedure is usually quick with no severe pain or complications afterwards.
Be sure to follow the instructions given to you by your podiatrist to avoid complications.
Will the ingrowns come back?
Ingrown nail removal done by a podiatrist have a 95 % success rate.
An ingrown nail may come back if you have a genetic condition causing the ingrown nails.
How do I prevent ingrown nails?
Cut nails straight, cutting your nail in a curved fashion will increase your risk of developing an ingrown nail.
Avoid wearing tight shoes, pressure can force parts of the nail into the surrounding skin.
Keep feet dry and clean. Keeping your skin clean and dry will make sure that the skin keeps its natural integrity and prevent bacteria form causing an infection.