An ingrown toenail can cause excruciating pain, and for this reason, treatment should not be delayed. An ingrown toenail is a common nail disease. It causes a painful condition in which the nail grows so that it cuts into the soft flesh surrounding the nail.
The disease starts as a microbial infection around and under the nail, causing the nail to grow into the flesh. Fortunately, it can be treated by cutting the nail correctly, medication and surgery.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AN INGROWN NAIL?
The primary symptom is a pain in the toe along the margins of the toenail. The pain increases when you wear a tight shoe or put pressure of any kind on the affected toe. Bumping the toe will cause agonizing pain.
Usually, ingrown toenails are easily susceptible to infection. The signs of infection are redness, inflammation, pus and swelling along with pain in the affected area. Causes of ingrown toenail.
Some of the causes of the ingrown toenail are:
- Unsuitable footwear shoes which do not have sufficient toe space plus tight stockings. This applies pressure on the sides and top of the toe.
- Dampness sometimes due to excessive sweating or damp working conditions, the nail plate gets softened, which eventually leads to ingrown toenails.
- Improper nail cutting due to this, the nail cuts into the surrounding soft tissue either due to impact or growth of the nail.
- Injury this can occur by stubbing the toenail, dropping something on the toe or going through the shoe end. This causes damage to the flesh surrounding the nail and may cause the nail to grow in an irregular shape.
- Bacterial infections they can cause the ingrown toenail. The infection has to be treated with antibiotics, and proper care should be taken of the nail and surrounding flesh.
- Predisposition to ingrown toenails some people are genetically predisposed to this condition. An irregularly shaped nail bed is a common cause of ingrown toenails.
PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF INGROWN TOENAILS
Though ingrown nails can occur on any of the fingers or toes, it mostly takes place in the nail of the big toe. An ingrown toenail can be prevented by cutting straight across the nail. The nail should not be cut shorter than the surrounding flesh.
It is advisable to wear comfortable and appropriately fitting footwear, which has sufficient space for the toes. Injury to the toe sometimes causes ingrown toenails. To prevent this wear proper sports shoes when playing or safety shoes in the factory.
The treatment of an ingrown toenail depends on how severe the symptoms are. If the ingrown toenail is severe, then surgical intervention may be needed. In mild or moderate cases, then application of topical anti-bacterial creams, gutter splints etc. may be used as an ingrown toenail treatment.
Fortunately, an ingrown toenail is a treatable condition. Even so, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. The main culprit for this condition being improper footwear, the shoes worn should have sufficient room for toe movement.
This will ensure that undue pressure is not acting on the toe. Do not neglect an ingrown toenail by wishing it away. Getting proper attention and treatment at an early stage is important.