Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. Toe nails help to protect the sensitive tissues in our toes, but can cause severe pain if they cut into the skin of the toes.
The feet endure a lot of stresses and strains with walking, running, wearing shoes, working and playing sport. Sometimes toe pain can occur as a result of the whole toe nail or just a portion of it growing into the skin. The toe nail can penetrate the skin surface giving rise to a reasonably common toenail problem. This is an ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails commonly occur on the big toe, however, smaller toes can also be affected.
There are a number or reasons why ingrown toe nails occur. These include:
1. Improper cutting...
Nails should be cut along the contour of the toe or straight across. Don't cut down the sides. Never pick at toe nails.
2. Poorly fitted footwear...
Shoes which are too tight or too small can restrict room for nail growth with resultant pressure on the nails which can lead to ingrown nails.
3. Incurvated nails...
Sometimes the nail edge curves into the skin either due to trauma or an inherited disorder.
4. Chubby toes...
People with chubby toes will find the skin at the side of the toe is more likely to be traumatised or pierced by the nail as it grows straight out.
In summary, the cause may be inherited or due to poor cutting, trauma or injury.
Ingrown toe nail treatment commences conservatively with proper cutting of your toe nails and advice from your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will instruct you on how to manage the nails in order to prevent recurrence of the ingrown toe nails.
If conservative treatment fails to provide a cure, partial toenail removal or minor surgery may then be considered.
Surgical correction of an ingrown toenail is very simple and very successful. In most cases only a small portion of the toenail is removed. Complete toenail removal is rarely necessary and a good cosmetic result is often achieved.
If this type of correction is required, your podiatrist will advise you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.
Do you have any interesting experiences regarding ingrown toe nails? Please share it!
For more information on aching feet and many other foot pain, leg pain and back pain conditions please visit our Foot Pain Conditions page and click on the condition of interest to you.
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Visit our Foot Problems page and ask us a question about your specific problem. We'll do our best to help.
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