Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail starts growing inside the skin of the toe. With such growth there is mostly redness and swelling in and around the affected area, but the condition becomes worse when infection occurs.
In most cases, the great toe starts to grow inwards and eventually becomes infected. However, other toenails can also get infected, so here are the infection causes:
- Curved toenails
- Toe injury
- Improper trimming of toenails
- Poor or badly fitting shoes or footwear
- Diabetic patients often experience this condition
- For nail care, cut your toenails straight across so that the corners can protrude and not grow inside the skin. Make sure while trimming your nails, you cut the nails straight without tapering the corners.
- If your toenails or hand nails are very curved at the sides, do not try to dig on the sides, instead seek professional help to get your nails trimmed out.
- Many toenail problems like toenail fungus and ingrown toenails occur if you are wearing the wrong kind of shoes. So, get good fitting shoes which are not tight, and also avoid wearing tight-fitting socks.
- Keep your feet clean and gently scrubbed to avoid any infection of the toenail.
- If you are suffering from diabetes and experience the infection often, consult a podiatrist rather than self treating the toenails at home.
- Follow the above remedies and keep getting a pedicure regularly to keep your nails clean.
Treatment from Podiatrist
- The ingrown part or spike of the nail can be easily removed by the podiatrist, and often one might not experience much pain. However, if the infected toenail is painful, local anesthesia is used for the removal of the infected toenail.
- After this, the doctor will wrap an antiseptic dressing on the affected area, and you will have to keep it for few days till the area is healed.
- However, if you are diabetic or have low-healing capacity, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics and the dressing will have to be kept for longer.
- You might experience pain again due to your toenails, if other nails are infected and were not removed by the doctor. Also, one might keep getting infected ingrown toenail due the curved shape of the toenails, in this case proper trimming habits of the nails can help, and you might need many sessions of toenail removal treatments from the specialist.
- In cases of severe infection, a simple minor surgery is the best option.
- There are different minor surgical procedures to treat the affected toenail, which are done at the podiatrist clinic with the help of local anesthesia.
- In the surgery, a part of the toenail or the whole toenail is removed, but the nail grows back after a while as the growing cells are still present at the base of the nail.
- After the surgery, the patient has to keep the leg elevated for few hours, and taking rest for the day is advised. The patient can resume normal activities like going back to school or work from the next day.
It is very important that you take care of your feet to prevent and treat the infected toenail. Because, the infection can develop into serious complications like bone infection or foot ulcer if not treated in time.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.