In Grown Toe Nail
Ingrowing toenails are one of the most common foot complaints treated by a podiatrist. The condition can be very painful and patients may often be very reluctant to have the condition treated. However, we can assure you that this condition will not resolve itself and requires specialist care.
An ingrowing toenail is caused by a splinter of nail or the whole nail causing pressure into the skin. Some ingrowing toenails are acute - meaning that they have occurred due to a toe injury. Others are chronic, which means the problem has lasted a long time usually due to a misshaped or thickened nail. Usually the big toe is affected; however it can also affect the smaller toes.
Initially the area around your affected toenail edge becomes hard, slightly swollen and tender. When the nail starts to in grow into the surrounding skin the toe may become red, swollen and inflamed although some people find that the toe is not inflamed but you cannot tolerate the feeling of your shoe pressing on the toe. There will be increasing tenderness and the area may become red and infected (caused by bacteria). At this stage the area may be very painful, with bleeding and pus, and often smells unpleasant.
Often people try to treat their own ingrowing toenail. There are many different forms of advice that friends and family may offer such as cutting a ‘V’ into the top of the nail! There is no evidence that this helps but it has been shown to cause a whole new problem with the nail!
Seeking professional advice is the key. A consultation with your podiatrist will result in them discussing your options with you. In some cases treatment can be provided straight away which can relieve the symptoms and make you more comfortable, however there are occasions where as the nail grows the problem may reoccur. Your podiatrist will give you the best advice to help try and prevent this however in some cases it is necessary to have a corrective surgical procedure which is conducted under a local anaesthetic in the clinic.