What is an ingrown toenail
An ingrown nail is a term for when the nail on the edge of your toe breaks through the skin and causes swelling, tenderness and ingrown nail infection as the area fills up with puss. It is commonly found on the big toe. This usually results in a high amount of discomfort and tenderness on the edge of the toe, particularly when wearing tight-fitting footwear.
How do you get an ingrown toenail
There are many different causes of an ingrown toenail and subsequent infection:
- Footwear – Your shoes could be too tight and as such resulting in the toe being squashed and the nail growing on an angle
- Cutting nails wrong – whilst there is nothing wrong with cutting your own nails, you could be cutting the nails on an angle, causing them to grow wrong. It is recommended to cut your nails in a straight line, so they grow straight.
- Injury – If you have recently injured your toe it could have affected your nail, causing it to become ingrown.
- Sweat – Some people sweat more on their feet. This makes the skin softer, and it is easier for the nail to penetrate through.
- Hereditary and Genetic – Some people are born with bigger nails as a genetic trait in their family, causing an increased likelihood they will develop ingrown toenails.
What are the treatment options?
You should get an ingrown toenail treated as soon as you notice any of the signs:
Leaving the toe only allows the nail to grow deeper, causing greater damage, and increased discomfort. Many people will try to treat ingrown toenails at home, or by using over the counter medication such as nail softeners, but in doing so they can possibly cause more damage, and might not prevent them from recurring.
The most common treatment for an ingrown toenail is to get the part of the nail penetrating the skin removed. This is done usually without the need for a local anaesthetic. Our expert podiatrists will cut away the affected nail section allowing the surrounding tissue to recover. The treatment is relatively painless, and the nail usually heals in around 1-2 weeks.
Have Grace Podiatry help you
Are you experiencing pain from an ingrown toenail? Contact the team at Grace Podiatry and we can come to you and alleviate your discomfort with ease.