Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown ToenailWhat is an Ingrown Toe Nail?

An ingrown toenail is a condition which is quite common. It involves the growth of the corner portion of the toenail towards the flesh of the toe. It naturally causes pain and swelling and can even lead to infection. Such a condition is generally seen in the big toe. If left untreated, it can result in poor circulation for the feet and could also cause more serious complications. The condition is usually caused by wearing shoes that press the toenails together. Some people also cut their toenails too short or at a slant resulting in ingrown toenails. It can also be caused by some injury to the toenail or occurs in those having curved toenails.

Symptoms and Facts

Those suffering from this condition of ingrown toenail will experience some pain and a kind of tenderness in the area. You might feel the pain all along both the sides of your toenail. Sometimes, the area around the toenail turns red and swells up. The surrounding tissue can also get infected. The condition can also result in great discomfort and even form pus that starts spreading. In case of those suffering from diabetes or any other circulation problem, the infection can spread rather quickly. If left untreated, it could also infect the underlying bone. The circulation becomes impaired, so even a small injury can lead to some infections.

Ingrown Toe Nail Treatment Options

An Ingrown toenail can be generally cured on your own by using a few home remedies and by making some lifestyle changes. For instance, you could try soaking the foot in warm water and applying an antiseptic or an antibiotic cream to it. If the pain still persists, you could visit the doctor and have the nail partly removed and take antibiotics to protect you from infection. Treatment usually consists of lifting the nail, by placing cotton or a splint below the edge, so that the nail is separated from the skin. This makes it slowly grow above the edge of the skin. When the condition of an ingrown toenail is more severe, the nail is trimmed by numbing the toe or by giving you a local anesthetic. For those suffering recurrently from the problem, the toenail along with the nail bed or tissue lying underneath is removed. This is done using chemicals or by laser methods.

Cures and Measures for Prevention

You can take care of mild cases of an ingrown toenail on your own. However, for those who have other health conditions, such as diabetes, you could suffer from further complications and need to consult a doctor. You can apply a topical antibiotic and bandage the area. Above all, wear footwear that is open toed and does not crowd the toes. When trimming toenails, you must take care to cut them straight across. If you are diabetic, it would be better to have them trimmed professionally. Don’t trim them too short either, as the shoe pressure leads them to grow into the skin or tissue. Don’t wear tight fitting shoes.

At it’s early stages, nonsurgical treatment may suffice. Simply wearing sandals instead of shoe for several days will help. Temptation to trim the corner of the toenail off should be avoided. This can worsen the condition where the toenail forms a fish hook deformity that further grows into the nail groove. This is to allow the toenail to grow out to the end of the toe beyond the nail groove. Soak in a warm saline solution is suggested. Antibiotic may be necessary to eliminate the infection.

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