Ingrown toenails, Causes, Treatment and Prevention Methods

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The corners of your big toe’s nail can sometimes grow inside rather than upwards and outwards as usual. When this happens, it is said that you have an ingrown toenail. The problem is common and can result due to practices like wearing small shoes. Although it may seem like a mild problem, it causes severe pain, among other symptoms like redness and swelling. Fortunately, most ingrown toenails can be resolved at home by soaking the affected feet in warm water and using cotton or dental floss to raise the nail. However, in cases where home remedies are ineffective, Dr. Norberto Torres-Otero can help resolve the problem.

What causes ingrown toenails?

  • Injuries like a fall of a heavy object on your toe or a cut.
  • Wearing small shoes with limited space for your toes.
  • Trimming your toenails too short and filing a curve at the ends on the nail.
  •  Inherited genes. You are likely to have an ingrown toenail if the problem is common in your family.

Can complications result from an ingrown toenail?

Yes. If left untreated, the ingrown toenail can cause severe bone infection. Certain groups of people are at a higher risk of complications, such as those with diabetes. The condition is associated with poor blood flow, which affects healing, and may result in an open sore or foot ulcer. Severe cases like these respond to surgery but not conventional methods like nail lifting.

Treatment for ingrown toenails

The treatment approach your doctor uses varies depending on the severity of your problem. For example:

  •  If the ingrown nail is mild and has no infection, the doctor may lift the ingrown nail edge and keep the surface elevated using cotton or dental floss. Doing this helps the nail grow without getting into the skin. You may need to frequently replace the cotton or floss at home to keep the site clean and prevent infection.
  • Partial nail removal. It is minor surgery that your specialist may recommend if the ingrown toenail is severe. It involves cutting the sides of the nail, and this is usually done after the doctor numbs your toe.
  •  If the problem is recurrent, total nail removal may be the best option for you. The procedure involves removing the nail and the tissue beneath, which stops its growth.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

  • Trim your nails straight across and do not form a curve at the ends. Informing your nail technician is also important, especially if you get a pedicure from salons. People with medical conditions like diabetes which causes poor blood circulation may need to get their nails trimmed regularly by a podiatrist.
  • Cut your nails at moderate length instead of trimming them too short. While trimming, ensure the nails do not shorten past the tip of your toes.
  • Wear shoes your size with enough room for toes. Tight-fitting shoes exert pressure on your nails and press them toward the skin, resulting in ingrown toenails. If you have feet problems due to damaged nerves, consider getting from specialized stores.

The pain produced by ingrown toenails can be frustrating to live with each day. Reserve a session with your doctor at Forme Medical Center and Urgent Care for treatment to improve your quality of life. 

Daisey Bell

I am Daisy Bell and a pro-level blogger with years of experience in writing for multiple industries. I have extensive knowledge of Food, Fitness, Healthcare, business, fashion, and many other popular niches. I have post graduated in arts and have keen interest in traveling.

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