An ingrown toenail is a type of condition in which the nail has grown into the skin; these may be the corner or side of the toenail. Your big toe is most likely to get an ingrown toenail causing pain, skin redness, and swelling in the affected area.
If you trim your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes, you may set the stage for an ingrown toenail. You may end up tampering with the corners so that the nail curves with the shape of your toe. This technique may encourage your toenail to grow into the skin of your toe. The sides of the nail curl down and dig into your skin. An ingrown toenail may also happen if you wear shoes that are too tight or too short.
1 in 20 people gets an ingrown toenail every year. Both genders are susceptible to this condition, but women are highly likely to develop it. This is due to the strain placed on the feet from narrow, pointed high-heeled shoes. This is a common condition that you can usually treat on your own at the comfort of wherever you are, such as at home.
According to the National Health Services, an ingrown toenail is more common in people with sweaty feet. The sweat causes an odor mostly in teenagers who tend to be more active and energetic. Some people tend to have this problem on their feet more than others, the condition itself is easy to identify.
There are many causes of ingrown toenails. Some people are genetically predisposed, inheriting the trait from one or both parents, but that seems to be less of a factor than certain behaviors. These are some of the causes leading to this foot problem.
Cutting your feet’ nails too short or not cutting them straight across. This may cause the toenail to have an irregular shape while growing or tend to curve, leading to an ingrown nail.
Overexposure to moisture or bad hygiene practice resulting in your foot not being kept dry and clean. This causes sweating and a bad odor around your foot, causing an infection. If your feet cannot avoid sweating, consider using powders before wearing closed shoes.
Poor posture leading to uneven pressure on a particular area of the foot ankle. Injury or trauma on the foot and ankle area, such as seriously stubbing it or a heavy object being dropped on it, may cause the problem.
Repetitive contact, such as in sports activities like soccer or ballet where a ball is kicked repeatedly or kickboxing. All these activities cause toenail damage which increases your risk of acquiring ingrown toenail. Other causes include ill-fitting footwear, shoes, socks, or stockings that fit too tightly in the toe area.
These toe problems start as something small, and they can escalate quickly. It is important to pay attention to early symptoms to prevent infection and any other complications. Some of the symptoms are as follows; They are painful to touch, followed by pressure under the nail. Swelling may also be visible with redness or hardening of the skin around the infected area. A foul smell, oozing, or build-up of fluid around the area may be seen. Additionally, it causes warmth on the skin around the nail.
There are some fastest ways to get rid of ingrown nails at home. This helps to prevent further problems in the infected toes such that you don’t need to look for a surgery provider institution. You can avoid the pain that the ingrown nails bring by soaking your foot in warm water, as soaking the affected toe may help reduce swelling and ease the pain. You can soak your foot in warm water for around 20minutes three times a day.
Nevertheless, please wear comfortable shoes and socks during the healing process to help prevent any contact and an ingrown toenail from worsening it. Wear sandals, if you have to until the affected toe heals. Sandals carefully help limit any possible pressure on your toe.
Always dry your feet and toes thoroughly with a soft towel and gently massage the infected area. This can feel uncomfortable, but it helps with blood flow to the area, helping with the pain while speeding up the healing process.
Applying over-the-counter creams or sprays is also another way of getting rid of the ingrown nail at home. Try a numbing cream or spray as they help treat any underlying infection that you can be unaware of.
An ingrown toenail can worsen from time to time due to various reasons and require medical attention from professional doctors. This can force you to book an appointment with an expert podiatrist in Utah County.
A deep and worsened ingrown nail can force your doctor to partially or fully remove the nail. Using a local anesthetic, a doctor can remove the nail’s border, the underlying nail bed, or part of the middle growth plate. In severe cases or even recurring ones, the entire ingrown nail can be removed. This is usually the last resort and a potentially painful solution that can increase your risk of infection.
Professional doctors can try other treatments for minor and less severe problems, such as lifting the nail. A medical doctor may carefully lift the ingrowing nail edge and place cotton or a splint under the nail.
The doctor will give you wound care and follow-up instructions. You might also be prescribed oral antibiotics if the toe had worsened. Ensure you clean the toe after every 24 hours, pat it dry, and keep it covered using a bandage.
How you care for your foot and nails is the most important factor in preventing an ingrown toenail. If you are experiencing the symptoms for the first time or you have been having this problem out of knowledge, by reading this article, you still have a chance to prevent the permanent formation of a severe problem.
For the residents of Utah County, your ingrown toenail should not bother you as we got you. Our expert podiatrists at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute are certified and well-trained to handle all your foot problems. Call us today at 801-756-4200 to schedule your appointment.