An ingrown toenail is a more common ailment than you could expect. It’s a painful issue that can cause quite an inconvenience in our life. Additionally, it has to be treated, as it takes very long to heal on its own. In this article we’re going to explain the causes of ingrown toenails, as well as share tips on treating this problem.
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What is an ingrown toenail exactly?
To so-called ingrowing happens when the corner or side of your toenail grows into your skin. This causes the skin to open into soft flesh. Ingrowing results in pain, swelling, and even in an infection.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
Typically, a few factors have to happen for a toenail to begin ingrowing. These factors include:
- excessive shortening your toenails,
- mechanical trauma,
- biomechanical trauma,
- an injury,
- overly tight footwear,
- various physical activities,
- chronic diseases,
- skin diseases,
- bacterial and fungal infections,
- lack of proper hygiene,
- weight changes (both weight gain and weight loss),
- periungual shaft hypertrophy,
- genetic predispositions,
- changes of bone structure,
- previous surgical procedures,
Ingrown toenail during pregnancy
Ingrown nails are a very common condition during pregnancy. The main cause of this is weight gain. Weight gain causes increased pressure on the ground, so bigger pressure on your feet. In addition, when feet swell, the nails may get pressed in tight shoes. All these can lead to skin injuries, the skin becoming inflamed, and often resulting in ingrown toenails.
How can you tell if you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail
The symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:
- pain in the area of your toes,
- emerging pus,
- inflammation of the skin of the feet,
- loss of the nail plate,
- swelling of the toes
Ingrown toenail treatment
Treatment of an ingrown toenail varies from case to case. However, the most important thing is to seek help from a professional. A podiatrist or doctor will choose the best therapy treatment for your case. Typically the treatment of an ingrown toenail combines several courses of action.
Loss of nail plate when dealing with an ingrown toenail
Sometimes ingrown toenails are accompanied by a loss of the nail plate and a delicate depression of the plate into the skin. In such a case you can opt for nail prosthetics and a gentle correction of the plate growth path with a special clamp. The clamp supports the nail and helps keep it in the correct position.
How to fix an ingrown toenail at home
Of course, there are different treatment methods you can try at home. However, the internet is full of remedies that can do more harm than good. That’s why first you should visit a specialist. Later you can continue the treatment at home, but after getting therapy advice from your podiatrist or doctor.
Special lotions or gels for ingrown toenails, often with antibiotics, are also not a very good solution. When applying such a lotion you in fact cover the inflammation, which causes the skin to soften. This not only doesn’t heal the wound, but it can even cause bacteria to develop. Essentially, it will make your condition worse, not better.
Prevention and proper foot care
There are many ways you can prevent ingrown toenails. First of all, it’s worth visiting a podiatrist to learn about your predispositions. The specialist will also assess the condition of your feet and give you tips on proper care. A podiatrist or doctor can teach you how to properly shorten your toenails. A well-educated person that knows how to take care of their feet and toenails at home can easily prevent potential problems. You should also opt for systematic podiatry treatments and maintaining hygiene.
Finally getting regular pedicures can also help prevent ingrown toenails. Before starting the pedicure, it’s worth soaking your feet in soapy water to soften the cuticles and toenails. Thanks to this, it will be easier to shorten them and file them. It will also minimize the possibility of micro injuries.
Summing up–prevention and care are the two key things that can help prevent ingrown toenails. And if you need to book an appointment with a specialist, head to Booksy. It’s better to start the treatment before it gets worse!