Ingrown Toenail- Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a most common problem in which sides or corners of a toenail grow into the adjacent soft skin. Big toes are most likely to get ingrown toenails, but it can happen to any toenail. Though you can treat this condition at home, it sometimes creates several complications that make it hard to stand or walk. There are chances you have got an ingrown toenail infection in such a case, and you need to look for a healthcare professional for Ingrown toenail treatment.

This condition can develop in two ways- either your nail grows into the surrounding skin or your skin grows over the edge of the nail. Anyone can easily diagnose an ingrown toenail. If you have one, your doctor may prescribe you a treatment plan. Make sure you inform your health specialist if you get ingrown toenails frequently. Besides this, you should also tell your doctor if you are pregnant or have diabetes because not all treatments are suitable for diabetic or pregnant ladies.

What causes ingrown toenails?

It can be caused due to poor foot hygiene, improper trimming (cutting toenails at an angle, trimming toenails too short or rounding the edges of toenails), trauma to the toenail bed (such as stubbing your toe) or even due to ill-fitting shoes. Even any structural abnormalities of the feet (like bunions, hammertoes, foot pronation), a person’s posture and manner of walking can also be the reason for getting an ingrown toenail.

Moreover, you will be surprised to know that footwear can also cause this. Yes, you read it right! Your footwear, which places a lot of pressure on your toes, can cause the formation of ingrown nails; it can be your stockings or socks that are too tight or shoes that are narrow and too tight for your feet. However, an ingrown toenail can happen to anyone, and at any age, diabetic people are more vulnerable to getting them than others.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Fluid buildup in the affected area
  • White or yellow pus in the affected toe
  • Bleeding from the ingrown toenail
  • Inflamed skin of the toe
  • Tender or swollen skin next to the nail
  • Pain in response to pressure.

What is the Ingrown toenail treatment?

Non-surgical treatment

Surgical treatment is not needed in all cases; sometimes, it can be treated with proper grooming and better-fitting shoes. Yes, you read it right! Here are some proven home remedies that you can try to get rid of ingrown toenails:

  • Take warm water and dip your feet in it for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Put dental floss or a cotton swab under your toenail; this encourages it to grow above the skin.
  • Apply some antibiotic cream and wrap your toe with a bandage.
  • If possible, wear only open-toed footwear like sandals or flip flops.
  • Take a pain killer.

You can do this 3 to 4 times a day. But if you don’t get any relief, you better go to the doctor.

Surgical treatment

If you have excruciating pain, excessive inflammation, swelling and a large discharge, the toenail is probably infected, and you need medical intervention. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a few oral antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading, or they may ask you to opt for surgical treatment. Your doctor will first tell you if your nail needs to be removed entirely or partially and carry forward the Ingrown toenail treatment accordingly.

The healthcare expert will carry out surgery and remove a portion of your nail, digging into the soft tissues and the portion of the underlying nail bed and even some of the adjacent soft tissues. However, you don’t need to worry; your doctor will first numb your toe and perform the procedure. According to health care professionals, surgical treatment is 98% effective and prevents the future occurrence of the problem.

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