A widespread issue that many individuals deal with are ingrown toenails. When a toenail’s corner or edge pierces the skin around the nail, it results in an ingrown nail. This may result in the affected area being painful, swollen, and red. Any toe can get ingrown toenails, although the big toe is the most frequently affected. Numerous things, including wearing tight-fitting shoes, having bent toenails, and incorrect toenail clipping, might contribute to them. Ingrown toenails can develop and require medical attention if not managed.
The causes, signs, and potential treatments for ingrown toenails are covered In this article:
Let’s further discuss ingrown toenails.
Ingrown Toenail Causes
Numerous things, such as the following, might result in ingrown toenails:
1. Improper toenail trimming:
Improper toenail cutting can cause the nails to grow into the skin. Cutting your toenails too short, rounding the corners, or shredding them can all cause this.
2. Donning tight-fitting footwear:
Footwear that is too narrow or tight can exert pressure on the toenails, causing them to dig into the skin.
Ingrown toenails can result from trauma to the toes, such as being stubbled or having something dropped on your toe.
4. Curved or irregularly shaped toenails:
Ingrown toenails are more likely in persons who have naturally curled or unevenly shaped toenails, which some people are born with.
5. Fungal infections:
Fungal infections can thicken and deform toenails, which can result in ingrown toenails.
6. Genetics: Ingrown toenails may run in some people’s families
It’s vital to remember that having unclean feet can also make you more likely to get ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail can be avoided by keeping your feet dry and clean.
Ingrown Toenail Symptoms
Various indications of ingrown toenails include:
When pressure is applied or when wearing tight shoes, the affected toe may become painful or sore.
The area of skin near the ingrown toenail may swell, itch, or become inflamed.
The vicinity of the ingrown toenail may swell and become sensitive to touch.
An ingrown toenail may occasionally develop an infection that produces pus or other discharge.
5. Difficulty walking or putting on shoes:
If the ingrown toenail is pressing against the skin, it may be difficult to walk or put on shoes.
Severe ingrown toenails can bleed and become excruciatingly uncomfortable. If your symptoms are severe or linger, or if you have infection-related symptoms like redness, warmth, swelling, or pus, you should consult a doctor. Untreated ingrown toenails can develop and cause more serious consequences.
Read more: How to fix knee pain
Options for Treating Ingrown Toenails
Depending on the severity of the issue, there are many ingrown toenail treatments available. Some of the most popular choices are listed below:
1. Soaking the foot in warm water:
It can help lessen discomfort and swelling in the affected foot. Infection can be avoided and the region can be soothed by adding Epsom salt to the water.
Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to help treat the infection if the ingrown toenail has developed an infection.
3. Over-the-counter painkillers:
Ibuprofen or paracetamol are examples of over-the-counter painkillers that can be used to treat pain and inflammation.
4. Proper toenail trimming:
To stop your toenails from growing into the skin, your doctor might be able to demonstrate how to do it.
5. Partial nail removal:
Your doctor might advise partial nail removal if your ingrown toenail is severe or keeps coming back. The section of the nail that is growing into the skin will be removed during this treatment.
6. Complete nail removal:
In extremely rare circumstances, your doctor might suggest completely removing the toenail. Only severe instances when other treatments have failed are often treated in this manner. The removal of an ingrown toenail at home should not be attempted since it might be harmful. It is best to get medical attention for an ingrown toenail from a healthcare provider who can offer safe and efficient treatment choices.
How to avoid getting ingrown toenails
It is frequently simpler to prevent ingrown toenails than to treat them. Here are some recommendations for avoiding ingrown toenails:
1. Trim your toenails properly:
Do not round the corners. Cut them straight across. Avoid making them too short.
2. Put on properly fitted shoes:
Put on shoes that are comfortable to wear and leave room for your toes to spread out.
3. Avoid tight socks:
Keep your toes free of pressure by avoiding wearing tight socks or stockings.
4. Keep feet dry and clean:
Maintain optimum foot health by keeping your feet dry and clean. Bacteria and fungus can grow more readily in moist environments.
5. Guard your feet:
If you run the risk of hurting your toes, put on safety shoes or other footwear.
6. Regularly check your feet:
Keep an eye out for any indications of ingrown toenails or other foot issues.
7. Seek early medical attention:
If you see any indications of an ingrown toenail, get medical attention right away. The onset of the condition’s worsening can be stopped with early action. You may avoid ingrown toenails and maintain the health and pain-free condition of your feet by following these instructions.
Ingrown toenails can cause infection, abscesses, and other significant problems if they are not addressed. In extreme circumstances, surgery may even be necessary. Therefore, if you have any symptoms of an ingrown toenail, including discomfort, redness, swelling, or discharge, you should seek immediate medical assistance.
There is no one method that works for everyone to treat ingrown toenails. Your overall health, the severity of your ailment, and other considerations will all influence the best course of treatment for you. Your physician might advise soaking your foot in warm water, giving you antibiotics to aid with an infection, or cutting off all or part of the infected toenail.
Although ingrown toenails can be inconvenient and painful, the good news is that they are frequently avoidable. You may lower your risk of getting an ingrown toenail by keeping your feet clean, wearing shoes that fit you well, and carefully cutting your toenails.
Improper toenail clipping, wearing shoes that are too small, and curved or unevenly shaped toenails are just a few of the causes of this widespread and frequently painful ailment. Ingrown toenail treatment options include soaking, antibiotics, and partial or complete nail removal, however prevention is frequently simpler than cure. You can help avoid ingrown toenails by taking simple precautions like correctly clipping your toenails, wearing shoes that fit you properly, and keeping your feet dry and clean. It’s crucial to get medical assistance from a healthcare provider who can offer safe and efficient treatment choices if you do experience an ingrown toenail. You can maintain your feet healthy and pain-free by giving them the necessary attention and care.
Mild ingrown toenails can go away on their own, especially if they were caused by an injury or a pair of tight shoes. However, it’s crucial to keep a careful eye on the situation and get medical help if the symptoms get worse or don’t go away.
An ingrown toenail should not be cut off at home. Making an attempt to do so increases the possibility of infection and causes additional damage. It’s critical to get medical care from a qualified healthcare provider who can offer safe and efficient treatment alternatives.
The length of time it takes for an ingrown toenail to heal varies depending on how bad it is and how it was treated. More severe cases could take weeks or even months to heal, while milder cases might take a few days.
Yes, there are a number of techniques to avoid getting ingrown toenails, such as cutting them properly, wearing shoes that fit properly, and maintaining good foot cleanliness.
Ingrown toenails can cause infection, abscesses, and other significant problems if they are not addressed. In extreme circumstances, surgery might even be necessary. It’s crucial to get medical help right away if you see any sign of an ingrown toenail.
Dr. Shraddha S. Chouhan is here. I’m an Indian dentist. I’m currently wrapping up my internship. I fell in love with human body health and its various aspects while working in the medical field, beginning with science. During my final year of dental school, I began practising yoga and learning about organic food, a healthy lifestyle, and the benefits it has on our human bodies. Learning more about organic food and its importance to our health has astounded me. Now I’m on a mission to learn more about healthy eating, living, and organic food.