WHAT ARE INGROWN TOENAILS?
Ingrown toenails are caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the toe’s skin. And as the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it creates inflammation. Originally, this may appear to be an insignificant discomfort, however, it can result in infection in the adjacent skin and/or develop into a recurring problem. Ingrown toenail mainly affects the large (great) toes, although; any of the toenails can be a victim.
WHAT CAUSES INGROWN TOENAIL?
The primary causes of an ingrown toenail are poor toenail trimming, poor shoe fitting, an inherited condition as well as injury and nail picking.
The warm, wet environment of the feet can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, thus, whenever there is a break in the skin from the offending nail border, these organisms capture the area and cause infection. The signs and symptoms include redness, pain, swelling, streaking and discharge that may be green, yellow or white and purulent (having pus).
Several risk conditions may contribute to a person having an ingrown toenail which may include:
- Athletics – particularly soccer, basketball and tennis
- A footwear that is either too small or too large
- Repeated pressure or conflict to the feet
- Poor foot care
- Irregular gait
- Foot or toe deformities
- Congenital toenail deformity
- Abnormally long toes
- Excessive sweating of the feet
- Fungus infection of the nails
- Soft tissue or bony tumors of the toes including arthritis.
CAN INGROWN TOE NAIL BE DANGEROUS?
A regular infection of the nail border can advance to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can consequently progress to a bone infection. These complications may include scarring of the surrounding skin and nail borders as well as thickened, deformed fungal toenails.
HOW TO TREAT INGROWN TOENAIL?
Ingrown toenails may often be resolved with no therapy. It can also be treated via immersion, avoidance of shoe pressure on the toenails, appropriate ways to trim the toenails and sometimes, antibiotics may be needed. However, a painful, constant, and recurring ingrown toenail should be handled by a physician.
SURGICAL TREATMENT OF INGROWN TOE NAIL?
Surgical treatments contain: temporary section of the offending nail border or corner, detachment or permanent elimination of the nail or the offending nail border. These procedures are commonly reserved for chronic or recurrent situations.
WHO SHOULD SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR INGROWN TOE NAIL?
Individuals with diabetes or people with a compromised immune system should regularly seek the care of a podiatrist/physician for ingrown toenail treatment. If home treatments are not effective within a week or there is persistent pain and/or signs of infection, Podiatric medical treatment is suggested.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT INGROWN TOE NAIL?
To prevent ingrown nails, do wear proper fitting shoes that allow you to wiggle your toes without having your foot slide around within. Improper fitting footwear can cause conflict to the toenail. Furthermore, don’t cut down the corners of the toenails. Use proper ways of trimming the toenail with clean tools and never trim them too short.
Your toe pain will begin to progress as soon as the nail is removed. You may return to your usual routines when you no longer have pain in your toe. Our providers at Southwest Urgent Care & Family Practice are trained to treat ingrown toe nail.
For more information – call us today at (713)-640-5754