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Home Body Care Nail Disorders Home :: Hand and Foot Care :: Nail Disorders :: Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown Toe Nails - Picture of Ingrown Toe Nails Treatment

As the name signifies, the nail appears to grow into the soft tissues at its free edge with the walls of the lateral fold growing over it. Foreign body reaction produces inflammation, granulomatous sore, and possibly, secondary infection; hence the pain.

An ingrown toenail is a condition that is caused by abnormal growth of both the toenail and the surrounding tissues. When the toenail grows into the surrounding tissue, a painful toe is the result. The irritation from the toenail causes swelling of the tissues, and further inflammation.

The ingrown nail can also apply pressure in the nail fold area without penetrating the skin - this is not technically an ingrown toe nail, but can also be painful (a corn/callus is also common down the side of the nail and is a reaction to this pressure, rather than the nail actually penetrating the skin).

Most patients present with ingrown toenail during the second and third decades of life, but teenagers often develop ingrown toenails after tearing the corners of their toenails.

Cause of Ingrown Toe Nails

The most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes only make matters worse. If the skin is red, painful or swollen on the sides of the nail, an infection may be present. This occurs because the ingrown nail is often in a warm, moist and bacteria-rich environment. When the nail penetrates the skin, it provides a convenient entry for germs that can cause infection. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin, causing a more severe infection. In either case, the infection needs to be cured with sterile instruments and antibiotics.

The fault cutting of nail which produces sharp angles rather than a rounded border; clipping the nail too short; badly fitting toes are some of the commom causes.

Stages of Ingrown ToeNail

Stage 1 ingrown toenails are characterized by erythema, slight edema, and pain with pressure to the lateral nail fold.

Stage 2 is marked by increased symptoms, drainage, and infection.

Stage 3 ingrown toenails display magnified symptoms, granulation tissue, and lateral nail-fold hypertrophy.

Treatment of Ingrown Toenail

To treat an infected ingrown toenail, soak your foot in warm, soapy water several times each day. You may need to gently lift the edge of the ingrown toenail from its embedded position and insert some cotton or waxed dental floss between the nail and your skin. Change this packing every day. If your infection is severe, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Learn how to trim your toenails properly. Wear clean socks and open-toed shoes, such as sandals.

Treatment is surgical avulsion of the affected part of the nail folds, under local anaesthesia in case of infection and severe pain; otherwise a conservative lifting of the ingrowing edge everyday to help it to grow over the overgrown wall is resorted to, along with correcting the causative factors.

Home remedies for waxing ingrowths

Use chilled rose water or ice on the area. Use natural loofah to later massage the area and thus help cellular build up.

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