Ingrown Toenail Causes & Treatment
An ingrown toenail is a popular term for Onychocryptosis, a common case of nail disease. The word ingrown describes the abnormal growth of nails which turn inwards to the flesh. This is a painful condition which can also lead to infection.
Cuts which may result from the inward growth of the nails into the flesh can be a portal for bacteria. Combined with the warm and moist environment of the feet which serves as a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, an ingrown toenail could quickly turn into a serious infection.
Consult a podiatrist to learn more about ingrown toenails and how to properly treat it.Dr. Howard Schultheiss is a podiatrist who specializes in helping people with ingrown toenails and other types of foot conditions.
Signs and symptoms of an Ingrown toenail:
- A toenail has grown into your skin instead of over it.
- Your nail is curved into the skin, usually at the nail border (the sides of the nail).
- Common condition is when the corner or side of your nail grows into a soft flesh.
- There will be tenderness in the nail border when pressure is applied.
- You might experience severe redness, swelling, drainage, malodor and pus on the area if it’s already infected.
- Typically, there will be an inward curving of the nail or a spike of nail (spicule) pressing into the skin of the nail border.
- You experience pain along the margins of your nail caused by hypergranulation.
- Although unusual, sometimes fever may occur while suffering from the condition.
This condition can easily be treated at home. But for those with diabetes, it is advisable that they consult a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a foot specialist that is best able to handle foot conditions. They are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating toe, ankle and all types of foot disorders.
Simple home treatments for ingrown include soaking feet in a warm, soapy water; placing cotton wisps or dental floss under the ingrown nail edge.
Below are some risk factors that increases a person’s risk for an ingrown toenail
- Athletes – as they normally do repetitive pressure to the feet.
- Poor foot hygiene or improper nail trimming – causes nail to grow into the skin
- Improper wearing of shoes that is either too small or too big.
- Some are congenital deformity; some are from diseases like arthritis
- Genetic predisposition
- Hyperhidrosis – sweating excessively which can cause ingrown toenail due to moist environment