Ingrown Toenails : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

What are Ingrown Toenails?

If your nails grow too close to the skin, this is called an ingrown toenail. This can happen most often on the big toe.

You can treat ingrown toenails at home. However, if the toenail is not treated properly it can lead to complications that might require medical attention. You're more likely to experience complications if you have diabetes or other conditions that cause poor circulation.

What are Ingrown Toenails?
 Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails happen to both men and women. They are more common in people whose feet sweat a lot, such as teenagers. Older people may also be more likely to get them because their nails grow thicker as they age.

  1. Skin

  2. Subcutaneous tissue

Medical terms

  • Ingrown toenails are a standard condition within which the corner or aspect of a toenail grows into the soft flesh. The result's pain, inflamed skin, swelling and, sometimes, an infection. ingrowing toenails sometimes have an effect on the large toe. typically you'll be able to watch out for ingrown toenails on your own. If the pain is severe or spreading, your health care supplier can take steps to alleviate your discomfort and assist you to avoid complications of ingrowing toenails. If you've got a polygenic disease or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications of ingrown toenails. 
  • symptoms If you are one of the many people who suffer from ingrown toenails you know how painful this condition can be. It is caused by the nail cutting into the flesh surrounding it. It is also known as onychocryptosis or felon.

An ingrown toenail is a common and painful problem where the corner or side of the nail grows into the soft tissue around it. The infection known as paronychia is also a common complication of an ingrown toenail. Why does this happen? Ingrown toenails often develop when shoes are too small or narrow and force your toes into an unnatural position A small piece of skin may develop on top of the nail over time which can become trapped in-between your skin and the edge of your toe This trapped skin causes irritation and inflammation that leads to infection These infections can spread quickly through your body if left untreated so always.

Symptoms Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenail symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness

  • Inflamed skin

  • Swelling

  • Infection

    • red, swollen skin

    • pain

    • bleeding

    • oozing pus

    • overgrowth of skin around the toe

  • If you have an ingrown toenail, treat it as soon as possible to reduce the severity of symptoms.
    Your doctor will examine your toe with a physical exam. If your toe seems infected, you might need an X-ray to see how deeply the nail has grown into the skin. An X-ray can also reveal if you have an ingrown nail, which is caused by injury.
    If you need help finding a doctor who specializes in primary care or gastroenterology, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
    If your toenail does not have an infection, you can normally treat it at home. However, if your toenail has poked through the skin or there is any sign of infection, seek medical help. Symptoms of infection include:

    • warmth

    • pus

    • redness and swelling

When to see a doctor

See your health care provider if you:

  • Experience severe discomfort in a toe, pus or inflamed skin that seems to be spreading

  • Have polygenic disorder or another condition that causes poor blood flow to the feet and you've got a foot sore or infection 

Causes Ingrown Toenails

Causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Wearing shoes that crowd the toenails

  • Cutting toenails too short or not straight across

  • Injuring a toenail

  • Having very curved toenails

  • Nail infections

  • Certain medical conditions

  • Do not cut your toenails at an angle, as this can cause the nail to grow into the skin. Cut straight across.

  • irregular, curved toenails

  • Footwear that is too tight or too narrow or with too much pressure on the toes can be uncomfortable.

  • If you injure your toe, it could include stubbing your toe, dropping something heavy on it, or kicking a ball repeatedly.

  • poor posture

  • Not keeping your feet clean or dry can lead to foot problems.

  • genetic predisposition

Athletic activities that require you to use your feet extensively can lead to more frequent ingrown toenails. Activities in which you repeatedly kick or put pressure on your feet for extended periods of time can cause toenail damage and increase your risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Activities include: Doing things like playing games, going on walks, and painting.

  • ballet

  • football

  • kickboxing

  • soccer

Toenails that have become ingrown can be very painful. They usually get worse in stages.

Some early symptoms of this disease are:

  • Nail skin is becoming tender, swollen, or hard.

  • pain when pressure is placed on the toe

  • fluid building up around the toe

Risk factors Ingrown Toenails

Factors that increase your risk of ingrown toenails include:

  • Being an adolescent, when feet tend to perspire more, which softens the nail and skin

  • Having nail care habits that encourage the nail to grow into the skin, such as cutting the nails too short or rounding the corners

  • Having a reduced ability to care for your nails

  • Wearing shoes that constrict the toes

  • Participating in activities, such as running and kicking, that put your toes at risk of injury

  • Having a condition, such as diabetes, that causes poor blood flow

Complications Ingrown Toenails

Complications are often particularly severe if you've got diabetes, which may cause poor blood flow and broken nerves within the feet. Therefore a minor foot injury — a cut, scrape, corn, callus or toenail — might not heal properly and become infected.

How do you get rid of an ingrown toenail at home?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin This can occur in any one of the nails on your toes but it is most common on the big toe If you have an ingrown nail you may experience pain and discomfort when wearing shoes or walking around Addressing an ingrown nail issue at home can help relieve some of this discomfort and also prevent infection from occurring To treat an ingrown toenail at home follow these steps: First soak your foot in warm water that is high in Epsom salts for about 10 minutes When soaking your foot gently rub a pumice.

What will dissolve ingrown toenail?

Toenails can curl or grow inwards a condition called an ingrown toenail Ingrown toenails may be caused by injury such as stubbing your toe or putting pressure on the tip of your toe They are also more common in people who wear shoes that are too narrow or tight causing toes to be pushed together and overlapping In most cases if an ingrown toenail is not infected it will go away over time without medical treatment In some cases you may need surgery but antibiotics can be used if there is a risk of infection.

Should I soak an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails are painful and irritating but you don’t have to live with them Using at-home remedies or visiting a podiatrist can help make your toe feel better At-Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenails Honey Soak: Honey has a smoothing effect on the skin which helps soften the nail and ease the pain of an ingrown toenail Soak your foot in warm water mixed with honey for 10 minutes two times per day To keep the mixture from staining your skin wear white socks while soaking your foot.

Prevention Ingrown Toenails

To help prevent an ingrown toenail:

  • Trim your toenails straight across. Don't curve your nails to match the form of the front of your toe. If you get a pedicure, raise the person doing it to trim your nails straight across. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to the feet and you can't trim your nails, see a chiropodist frequently to get your nails trimmed. 

  • Keep toenails at a moderate length. Trim toenails therefore they're even with the guidelines of your toes. If you trim your toenails too short, the pressure from your shoes on your toes might direct a nail to grow into the tissue. 

  • Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that place an excessive amount of pressure on your toes or pinch them may cause a nail to grow into close tissue. If you've got nerve damage to the feet, you'll not be able to sense if your shoes work too tightly. 

  • Wear protective footwear. If your activities put you at risk of injuring your toes, wear protective footwear, such as steel-toed shoes.

  • Check your feet. If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails or other foot problems.

Diagnosis Ingrown Toenails

Your doctor can presumably be able to diagnose your toe with a physical exam. If your toe appears infected, you may need an X-ray to indicate how deep the nail has grown into the skin. Associate X-ray may reveal if your ingrowing nail was caused by injury.

Your health care supplier will diagnose an toenail supporting your symptoms and a physical examination of the nail and also the encompassing skin.You can usually diagnose an ingrown toenail yourself, based on your symptoms and the way the toe looks. Your care provider (which is also your regular provider or a foot specialist referred to as a podiatrist) will seemingly diagnose an ingrown toenail by inspecting it. They’ll examine the skin at the sting of the nail. they're going to diagnose an ingrown toenail if the skin is: 

  • Growing over the nail.

  • Swollen, tender, warm and red.

Treatment Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails that aren’t infected will usually be treated at home. However, if your toenail has perforated the skin, or there's any sign of infection, obtain medical treatment.If home remedies haven't helped your unhealthy toenail, your health care supplier might recommend:

  • Lifting the nail. For a rather ingrowing nail, your health care supplier could fastidiously elevate the ingrowing nail edge and place cotton, yarn or a splint underneath it. This separates the nail from the superjacent skin and helps the nail grow on top of the skin edge, typically in two to twelve weeks. At home, you ought to soak the toe and replace the fabric daily. Your health care provider may also inflict a sex hormone cream to use when soaking. Another approach, that minimizes the requirement for daily replacement, uses cotton coated with an answer that fixes it in situ and makes it waterproof (collodion). 

  • Taping the nail. With this method, your health care provider pulls the skin away from the ingrown nail with tape.

  • Placing a gutter splint under the nail. With this technique, your health care supplier numbs the toe and slips a small slit tube beneath the embedded nail. This splint stays in situ till the nail has grown higher than the skin edge. This method helps ease the pain of an unhealthy nail as well. 

  • Partially removing the nail. For a lot of severe toenail (inflamed skin, pain and pus), your health care supplier might numb the toe and trim or take away the ingrowing portion of the nail. It might take two to four months for your toenail to grow back. 

  • Removing the nail and tissue. If you've got the matter repeatedly on a similar toe, your health care supplier could recommend removing some of the nail at the side of the underlying tissue (nail bed). This procedure may forestall a part of the nail from growing back. Your health care provider can numb the toe and use a chemical, an optical device or different methods. when a nail-removal procedure, you'll be able to take a pain reliever as needed. It would be easier to use a wet compress for a couple of minutes for a few days, till the swelling has gone down. And rest and elevate the toe for 12 to twenty four hours. Once you resume moving about, avoid activities that hurt your toe, and don't swim or use a bath till your health care supplier tells you it's okay to try to do so. It's okay to shower the day after surgery. decide your health care provider if the toe isn't healing. Sometimes, even within surgery, the matter happens again. Surgical approaches are higher at preventing return than are medical procedure methods. 

  • Surgical treatment There are different types of surgical treatments for ingrown toenails. One type of treatment only involves removing the part of the nail that is digging into your skin. Your doctor numbs your toe and then narrows the toenail. This procedure is 98% effective. Preventing future ingrown toenails: Bacteria can grow in toenails if they become ingrown. To prevent this from happening, keep your toenails clean and dry, and file them regularly.
    During a partial nail removal, the sides of the nail are cut away so that the edges are completely straight. A piece of cotton is placed under the remaining portion of the nail to keep the ingrown toe from recurring. Your doctor may also prescribe a compound called phenol which prevents further growth of the toenail. The nail from when the nail grew back.
    If your ingrown nail is caused by thickening, you may have it removed with total nail removal. First your doctor will give you a local pain injection, and then he or she will remove the entire nail in a procedure called a matrixectomy.

After surgery

After surgery, your doctor will put a bandage on your toe. You will likely need to keep your foot raised for a few days and wear special footwear so that your toe can heal properly.

Be as still as possible. Your bandage will be taken off two days after surgery. Your doctor will tell you to wear open-toe shoes and do salt water soaks each day until your toe heels. You will also be prescribed pain relief medication and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Your toenail may grow back a few months after having a partial nail removal surgery. If the entire nail is removed, down to the base (the root of the nail), it can take over a year for your toenail to grow back.

If an ingrown toenail is not treated, it can turn into an infection in the bone near your toe. This infection can lead to ulcers or open wounds on your foot, as well as tissue decay and death.

If you have diabetes, a foot infection may be more serious. Even a small cut or ingrown toenail can quickly become infected because there is not enough blood flow and nerve sensitivity. See your doctor right away if you have diabetes and are concerned about an ingrown toenail infection.

If you have a gene that makes it more likely that your toenails will grow back into your foot or show up on multiple toes at once, this can cause pain, infections, and other problems. Your doctor may recommend a partial amputation in this case. To remove toenails that are causing chronic pain, you may need a full matrixectomy. This is surgery that removes the entire nail bed, including the toenails. For more information about foot care and diabetes, read articles about these topics.

To prevent ingrown toenails, make a few lifestyle changes:

  • Make sure your toenails are straight across, and do not curve at the edges.

  • Avoid cutting toenails too short.

  • You should wear the appropriate clothing for the weather. shoes, socks, and tights.

  • If you are working in hazardous conditions, wear steel-toe boots.

  • If your toenails are abnormally curved or thick, surgery may be necessary to prevent ingrown nails.

Lifestyle and home remedies

You can treat most ingrown toenails at home. Here's how:

  • Soak your feet in warm, soapy water. Do this for 10 to 20 minutes 3 to 4 times a day until the toe improves.

  • Place cotton or dental floss under your toenail. After every soaking, place recent bits of cotton or waxed floss underneath the unhealthy edge. This can facilitate the nail to grow higher than the skin edge. 

  • Apply petroleum jelly. Put petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the tender area and bandage the toe.

  • Choose sensible footwear. Consider wearing open-toed shoes or sandals until your toe feels better.

  • Take pain relievers. A nonprescription pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) may help ease the toe pain.

Preparing for your appointment

Your primary health care supplier or a specialist (podiatrist) will diagnose an unhealthy toenail. Prepare a listing of inquiries to raise throughout your appointment. Some basic queries include:

  • Is my condition temporary or long term (chronic)?

  • What are my treatment options and the pros and cons of each?

  • What results can I expect?

  • Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own?

  • What nail care routine do you recommend while my toe heels?

Your health care provider is likely to ask you questions such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?

  • Do you have symptoms all the time?

  • What at-home treatments have you used?

  • Do you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your legs or feet?

General summary

  1. Ingrown toenails are caused when the edge of a toenail grows into the flesh and causes pain swelling redness and infection A home treatment for ingrown toenails consists of soaking the affected toe in warm water twice daily The warm water will help soften the skin tissue around the edge of your nail so it can expand freely Use an emery board or pumice stone to gently file down the edges of your nail once it has grown out enough to prevent future ingrowing incidents.
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