Ingrown Toenails: Why does it keep happening?

Ingrown Toenails: Why does it keep happening?

By Gordon Lazarte

Ingrown toenails are painful, there is no way around it. You may have been suffering from ingrown toenails for a while now and Podiatrists are exactly the professionals who can help!

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail can be very painful and this is due to the pressure from the sides of the nail growing into the skin. It generally occurs to the big toe of the foot, however it can also affect the lesser toes. The nail may then pierce the skin and sometimes, this can cause an inflammatory response in the area and may progress to an infection.. In some occasions, there may already be a build of hard skin and other debris in the sides of the toes and this can also increase the pressure from the nail.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can both occur in men and women. Many things can increase the chance of ingrown toenails, including:

  • –      Incorrect cutting of toe nails
  • –      Irregular shape of nails
  • –      Tight and inappropriate fitting footwear and socks/compressions/hosiery
  • –      Sweaty feet
  • –      High impact sports
  • –      Direct trauma to the nail by stubbing the toe, dropping something heavy on the toe or kicking a ball repetitively.
  •        Not keeping the foot clean 

What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be painful, without proper treatment can cause a lot of pain and complications that can debilitating and may lead to infection.

Symptoms include:

–      Pain on the sides of the toe during pressure or light touch

–      Skin surrounding the nail become tender and red

If the following symptoms are found, it may be suspected that the toe is infected.

–      Red , swollen and pain that is felt not just around the nail.

–      Yellow/ discoloured discharge from the sides to the toe

–      Bleeding or oozing pus

–      Abnormal growths

How are ingrown toenails treated and prevented?

–      Correct cutting of nails. It is important to remember that all nails grow differently. Your podiatrist can instruct        the correct method of cutting your nail shape.

–      Wearing appropriate footwear that has a wide toe box to stop the sides of the shoe pushing on the toes

–      Wearing safety shoes when performing activities with heavy lifting

–      Regular visits to your Podiatrist for correct management

Ingrown toenails can be managed conservatively, however there is the option of safe and minimally invasive surgery that can be done by your podiatrist which will prevent the recurrence of an ingrown toenail.

If you or someone you love suffers with painful feet or toenails, call our friendly podiatrists to make an appointment today (03) 9372-7452 or make an appointment via our online enquiry form.

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