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Ingrown toenails

An ingrown toenail is an extremely painful condition and is easy to spot. The area is very painful to touch, and it can be red and inflamed. There may also be an infection present which can cause excessive pain and some pus or fluid, which can cause the area to feel hot when touched.

How does it happen

It occurs when the edge of a nail penetrates the surrounding tissues of the toe (usually the big toe) and causes swelling, inflammation, and infection. The condition can also commonly be caused by poorly fitting shoes, improper trimming (trimming the nails too short) or by trauma. To prevent an ingrown toenail you should not pick your toe nails and it is important to cut the nails straight across and not down the sides.

Painful nails can also occur without the nail penetrating the toe. Shoe pressure on the nail wall can result in callus (hard skin formation) in the nail groove. If untreated this can build up and cause inflammation and infection. With this condition many people believe they have an ingrown toenail and frequently dig down into the groove to cut the nail, which in turn causes an ingrown toenail.

What can I do?

  • Practice good hygiene, make sure your skin and nails don’t become moist

  • Wear the correct footwear which are wide enough so not to put pressure on your toes.

  • Use scissors or clippers specifically designed for toenails.

  • Cut your nails correctly, nail shapes can differ from person to person so if you are unsure seek advice and send us an email.

When an individual experiences an ingrown toenail, it is not uncommon for them to attempt to rectify the problem themselves to ease their discomfort. In most cases this serves only to irritate the nail wall, cause infection and worsen the condition.

Treatment in clinic

The treatment of ingrown toenails is initially centred on conservative management. This means we at TT Loves Feet will remove the offending splinter of nail and the toe is dressed. Review appointments will be made to ensure the nail does not penetrate the nail wall upon re-growth. Frequently ingrown toenails can be persistent and troublesome. In such cases nail surgery is recommended. If surgery is considered the best way forward we can arrange a referral to a Podiatrist who undertakes nail surgery.

If you suffer from uncomfortable feet which is affecting your walking or

day-to-day life, please get in touch to book an appointment with us.

Photo credit: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/conditions/ingrown-toenail

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