What is a Podiatrist and their training [betterdocs_search_form placeholder=”Search”] When it comes to taking care of our bodies, our feet often get overlooked. Enter the podiatrist, […]
An ingrown toenail is when part of the toenail has broken or pierced the surrounding skin.
They are often caused by malcutting, leaving a shard down the side of the nail. Sometimes, the nail shape and tight shoes can exacerbate things.
Pain is usually the first thing that people notice, and this is then often followed by inflammation, reddening, and pus if infected.
Treating ingrown toenails should be quickly as once they develop, they often do not settle on their own. The pressure of the nail on the skin and direction that the nail grows often complicates healing. The longer the wound is open the higher the chance of infection. If infections are left, this can spread further into the body.
There are two main options to consider. If it is a mild and one off occasion caused by a spike of nail, these can often be cut back carefully to resolve the issue. In other cases where this is not possible, a section of the nail can be cut back to the nail root. This makes the nail narrower to take pressure from the skin. A chemical can be applied to this section of nail root to stop it from growing back permanently (allowing the remainder of the nail to continue to grow).
If the nail is infected, the most appropriate procedure can be carried out, and a course of antibiotics can be given to resolve the infection.
The procedure is very simple and can be carried out in the clinic environment. A local anaesthetic injection is delivered to either side of the toe which takes away pain sensation. The affected side of the nail can then be cut back straight to the root and a chemical applied to stop this section growing back again. This method requires the toe to be bathed in warm salty water for 5 minutes and redressed daily for 2-3 weeks.
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Thoughts and advice on foot health care from the Podogo team.