Tag Archives: In-grown toenail

Ingrown Toenails: Cause, Identification and Prevention

Ingrown toenails occur when the side or corner of your toenail begins to grow into the skin. Either the skin will grow over the edge of the toenail or the toenail itself will grow into the skin.

Cause

The main cause of ingrown toenails are wearing shoes that crowd your toenails or are too small for your feet. This causes discomfort and your toes are forced to squeeze together inside your shoe, restricting growth and comfort. Cutting your nails too short or not on a straight angle is another common way to get an ingrown toenail. By injuring your foot or stubbing your toe, you can have a similar effect.

Identification

Ingrown toenails are often easy to identify. If you experience pain, redness or swelling around your toe or nail there is a good chance you have an ingrown toenail. Usually, the area will be tender and swell up. Ingrown toenails can be treated in several ways, but it’s important to treat them as soon as they appear to prevent any infections.

Prevention

Finding a shoe that is the right size, comfortable and protective is the best way to take care of your feet. Trim your toenails often and straight across to ensure your toenails grow straight. Learn more about ingrown toenails here.

Ingrown Toenails

Millions of Americans are affected by Ingrown Toenails every year. Although the big toe is the typical culprit, every toenail can grow into the surrounding skin and cause pain, swelling, and redness.

Ingrown toenails may be caused by:

  • Incorrectly cutting toenails
  • Wearing inappropriate shoes
  • Injuries to the toe
  • Having naturally curved toenails

If home remedies such as soaking your toes in warm soapy water or applying antibiotic ointments won’t help and redness and pain are spreading, please contact your local podiatrist. Although most cases can be treated easily, severe cases of ingrown toenails might lead to infections, poor blood circulation, and tissues damage. This especially applies to diabetics.

A Podiatrist might consider placing cotton under the edge of the nail to lift it above the surrounding skin in certain cases or (partially) removing the nail and affected tissue in more advanced stages. Removal of parts of the nail may also be a preventative measure for individuals suffering under this condition on a regular basis.

Please have a look at the following sources if you have further questions and don’t hesitate to call your local podiatrist:

Does your big toe turn red, swell and throb near the nail? What’s the culprit?

It may be an in-grown toenail; the result of your nail growing into the surrounding skin.

In-grown nails may be inherited or it may be due to injury, fungal infections or pressure on the toe. Improper trimming can also be the culprit. Whatever the cause, an untreated in-grown toenail can hurt from the tip to the base of the toe.  The pain usually flares up around the nail while you’re walking.

An in-grown toenail can become infected, especially diabetic individuals.  Evaluation and treatment are simple office procedures and sometimes include a trim or partial nail removal. A chemical can be applied to permanently prevent the in-grown part from coming back.

If you think you have an in-grown toenail, don’t wait for the pain to get worse and for an infection to set in.  Contact Dr. Smith’s office for an appointment