What is Ingrown Toenail?
Nails are one of the hardest parts of the body and grow over the tip of the toes and fingers. Ingrown nails are a condition where the nail instead of growing overgrows into the skin. It most commonly happens with toenails, especially big toes than fingernails. When this happens it is called ingrown toenail or onychocryptosis. The types of ingrown toenails are:
- Distal nail embedding
- Subcutaneous ingrown toenail
- Hypertrophy of lateral nail-fold
- Pseudo ingrown toenail
From being a minor discomfort it can progress to infecting skin next to it. These ingrowths can be surgically removed by a general surgeon if detected early before it progresses to something major.
Ingrown Toenail Symptoms
The ingrown toenails are extremely painful and the symptoms worsen as it progresses, they are:
- The nail skin is tender and swollen
- There is a buildup of fluid around the toe.
In the next stage, the toe gets infected and leads to symptoms like:
- Pain in the area
- Redness with pus oozing out of the toe
- Feeling hot and feverish
- Skin overgrowth around the toe region.
Ingrown toenails can happen to any nail but the big toe is the most common nail that suffers from this condition. Treat it as soon as possible to avoid painful symptoms.
Who is at Risk?
Ingrown toenail risk factors are:
- Athletes who play sports like tennis, basketball, soccer, etc which involves stop-start movement.
- People who wear tight shoes.
- People who have an abnormal gait, have toe or foot deformities, have extremely long toenails.
- Those who do not follow good foot hygiene and sweat excessively.
- People who are obese.
- People who suffer from congenital toenail deformity.
- People who suffer from diabetes, kidney, heart, and thyroid problems.
- People who have frequent fungus infection of the nail.
- Patients of arthritis or having tumors of toes.
- People who apply pressure on the toe and feet repetitively
- Those with edema of the foot
Ingrown Toenail Causes
The causes for ingrown toenails include:
- Incorrect cutting of toenails. It should be cut straight so that it prevents the nail from growing inside the skin.
- Curved toenails
- Bad posture
- Injury to the toe. Even stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy can cause an ingrown toenail.
- Not keeping the feet clean and dry.
- Due to shoes or socks that are too tight which applies pressure on the big toes.
One of the other reasons for ingrown toenail is doing activities that use feet extensively. Repeated pressure for a long period of time can damage toenails and increase the chances of an ingrown toenail.
How is Ingrown Toenail Diagnosed?
There are no major tests needed for an ingrown toenail diagnosis. The doctor normally diagnoses it by doing a physical examination. The skin along the edge of the nail is inspected and if is swollen and tender it is considered as an ingrown toenail.
An ingrown toenail doctor may order an X-ray if the condition has crossed the initial stages and has got infected. An X-Ray can help in determining the depth of the nail grows into the skin. This X-Ray can also help in knowing the cause of this condition.
How is Ingrown Toenail Treated?
Home remedies can be done to treat this condition in the initial stages. But if the ingrowth persists or gets infected, seek medical assistance before it advances. Ingrown toenail treatment includes:
- Medications: The doctor will give antibiotics as medicine for ingrown toenail in case there is an infection. If the ingrown nail is due to a fungal infection then the doctor determines the treatment options.
- Surgery: If there is a severe infection of the toenail, the doctor may recommend partial removal. If the problems persist or happen frequently permanent removal of the nail root may be done.
An ingrown toenail is extremely painful but it is treatable. So there is no need to suffer from pain. Seek our experts at Cure.fit to help get rid of this and lead a pain-free life.
How can Ingrown Toenail be Prevented?
Ingrown toenail prevention is easy and can be done by making certain lifestyle changes. It includes:
- Avoiding wearing socks and shoes that are too tight.
- Wearing supportive shoes if you work in an environment that applies pressure on the toes and foot.
- Properly trimming nails by ensuring that the edges do not curve in.
- Do not trim the nails too short.
- Follow proper foot hygiene by keeping the feet clean and dry.
- Wear orthotic devices to correct faulty foot mechanics.
- Check your feet and get appropriate ingrown toenail cure if infected.