Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges or corners of a nail grow into the skin; if left untreated, it can cause a nasty infection.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges or corners of a nail grow into the skin next to the nail. If left untreated a nasty infection can follow.
When the nail grows into the skin surrounding the nail it can be very painful. Big toes are the most common toes to develop ingrown toe nails and athletes can be prone to this.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
- Cutting toenails incorrectly where the nail may be encouraged or forced to grow into the skin.
- Sports such as cricket, football, tennis or netball where there is a lot of stopping and pivoting, meaning the toes will be thrashed and bashed against the inside of the shoe.
- Ill-fitting footwear
- Acute injury to the toenail such as stubbing a toe.
- Improper foot hygiene, such as not keeping your feet clean or dry
- Genetic predisposition
Ingrown Toenail Symptoms
There are typically 2 stages of an ingrown toenail, which can be classified as early stage and the infected stage. Once the toenail becomes infected pain can increase dramatically.
- Tender skin in and around the nail
- Pain when pressure is placed on the toe such as putting shoes on
Infected ingrown toenail symptoms may include:
- Oozing pus
- Overgrowth of skin around the toe
Diagnosis of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are usually diagnosed by the naked eye and pain response tests. An ingrown toenail will typically be visible to a podiatrist. Medical imaging tests such as X-rays may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Ingrown Toenail treatment
Home treatment for ingrown toenails to prevent the nail from worsening includes:
- Regularly soaking or washing the foot
- Using dental floss under the nail
- Cutting and trimming nails in a shapely fashion
- Applying topical cream to prevent infection
- Minor surgery