Ingrown toenail or onychocryptosis is a fairly common and recurrent foot condition.
It’s usually caused by abnormal external pressure
on the nail bed causing the nail edge to grow sideways into the surrounding skin of the toe.
The toe is usually painfully red
Any presence of infection can be very dangerous, especially in
people diagnosed with diabetes and those with a suppressed immune system.
Anyone can suffer from ingrown toenails, but they are often the result of improper nail cutting, trauma to the nail, tight shoes, poor posture and gait problems (flat feet), fungal infections and abnormal nail growths, excessive foot sweating (hyperhidrosis), etc.
What are the signs and symptoms?
• Skin around the toe nail is shiny, red and tight
• Pain at the tip of the toe extending down the side of the nail, especially when pressure is applied
• Redness, swelling and thickening of the nail fold, possible presence of infection
• Infected area will likely have pus or presence of yellow drainage
There are a variety of treatments available to treat this condition.
To determine the best course
of action, consult a chiropodist/podiatrist or your family physician.
A treatment plan usually depends on the presence or absence of infection and whether or not this is a long standing condition. In most cases, a portion of the ingrown
nail (corner/spike) can be removed with or without local anesthesia followed with antibiotics to treat possible infection. Resistant
and recurrent cases of ingrown nails and infections may require
an in-office procedure to remove the offending portion of the
nail on a permanent basis. Diabetic patients should not attempt any self treatment
and should seek immediate help.
To prevent ingrown nails, always cut nails straight across, wear shoes that fit properly and maintain good foot hygiene.
DO NOT try to perform surgery
at home to remove the ingrown
Diabetic patients or any patient with an impaired immune system and poor peripheral circulation should have regular foot treatments done by a chiropodist/podiatrist to prevent potential complications.