An ingrown toenail occurs when either edge of the nail starts growing into the skin that’s next to it.
While some people are born with toenails that naturally curve towards their skin, the majority of ingrown toenails are caused by another factor. Wearing shoes or even socks that are too tight on an ongoing basis can create enough pressure to cause one or more toenails to begin growing into the surrounding skin.
Nail injuries are another common cause. Whether it’s stubbing your toe while walking through your house or tearing a nail while playing sports, these types of injuries can lead to an ingrown nail on your foot. And while not letting your toenails get too long can reduce your risk of ingrown toenails, it’s also possible for this condition to occur as a result of cutting them too short.
Most people first notice ingrown toenails because they feel sharp pain as they’re walking around. Then when they look at their nail, they see that the skin around it is swollen, red and painful to the touch. There may also be pus between the nail and surrounding skin.
Dealing with Ingrown Toenails
Because ingrown toenails can become infected, if you notice the symptoms listed above, it’s important to have the nail looked at by a doctor. Depending on the severity of your case, it may be possible to treat the infected nail with a combination of warm soaks and antibiotics.
If the problem is more severe, it will need to be treated with a removal or matrixectomy. A removal can be partial or full, while a matrixectomy is a procedure that utilizes a laser, chemical or other instrument to stop a specific part of the toenail from ever growing again.
The simplest way to prevent this problem is to wear socks and shoes that are snug but not overly tight. And as previously mentioned, while it’s important to trim toenails on a regular basis, you don’t want to cut them too short. The key is to use clippers to cut them along a straight line instead of with a curve.
Diabetics can lose sensation in their feet as a result of peripheral neuropathies, have a higher risk of infection and are more likely to develop curved toenails. As a result, it’s especially important for anyone with diabetes to seek medical attention as soon as they notice any signs of an ingrown toenail.
If you are suffering from a painful nail condition, you can depend on a skilled member of our team to handle your problem. Because we specialize in foot and ankle problems, we’ll be able to properly evaluate your specific case and choose the most effective way to treat it. If you have any additional questions about ingrown toenails, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 214-574-9255.
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