An ingrown toenail, is a painful condition of the toe. It occurs when a sharp corner or edge of the toenail digs into the skin at the end of or side of the toe. Pain and inflammation at the spot where the nail curls into the skin occurs first Initially presenting as a minor discomfort, it may progress into an infection in the adjacent skin and/or become a reoccurring problem. Ingrown toenails most commonly affect the large (great) toes
What causes ingrown toenails?
A number of things can cause an ingrown toenail to develop, including:
- badly cut toenails – cutting your toenails too short, or cutting the edges, will encourage the skin to fold over your nail and the nail to grow into the skin
- wearing tight-fitting shoes, socks or tights – this places pressure on the skin around your toenail; the skin may be pierced if it's pressed on to your toenail
- sweaty feet – if the skin around your toenails is soft, it's easier for your nail to pierce it and embed itself within it
- injury – for example, stubbing your toe can sometimes cause an ingrown toenail to develop
- natural shape of the nail – the sides of curved or fan-shaped toenails are more likely to press into the skin surrounding the nail
The treatment of an ingrown toenail partly depends on how severe it is. Ingrown toenails are best treated early before they progress to a chronic stage.If caught early treatment is usually fast and effective with immediate relief.
This is typically an in-office procedure requiring local anaesthesia, with aid of local anaesthesia, the edge of affected part of nail simply removed
After toenail surgery, your toe will be wrapped in a sterile bandage. This will help stem any bleeding and prevent infection. Rest your foot and keep it raised for one to two days after the operation.
To help reduce the pain, you may need to take a painkiller, such as paracetamol, and wear soft or open-toed shoes for the first few days after surgery
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