Ingrowing nails are where by the nail corner of sides of the nail grow or press into the surrounding skin. It can cause pain, redness, swelling and infection. They can easily become infected due to the feet being in warm, moist environments. The big toenail is most commonly affected.
It can be caused by:
- Improper trimming: Cutting the nails too short or cutting them down the corners encourages the flesh to grow over the nail.
- Trauma: Ingrowing nails can be a result of trauma such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it. It can also be a result of repeated trauma from sporting activities that involve kicking or running.
- Footwear: Footwear that is too tight or compresses the toes against each other has the propensity to cause ingrowing nails
- Nail Conditions: Nail conditions such as fungal nails can cause the nail to thicken and cause increased pressure to the surrounding skin.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the ingrowing nail. If it is mild it may be treated by a podiatrist conservatively to remove the offending nail spicule, smooth any rough edges and reduced the thickness of it.
If it is more severe or is a chronic problem then surgical removal may be considered. This can usually be done in a clinic setting. The nail matrix may be destroyed by chemical means to stop the nail from re-growing.
If chemical destruction of the nail matrix is unsuccessful a more invasive technique of nail removal can be used and this is done under a general anaesthetic in hospital. If the nail is very curved a bony growth called an exostosis may be present on the phalanx bone that sits under the nail. This requires surgical removal to resolve if it is causing the nail to curve and press into the skin.
If you are experiencing ingrown toenail pain and problem, contact our Perth Podiatrists today for immediate treatment!