A toenail that presses into or pierces the flesh at the side of the nail is commonly called an ingrown toenail. The skin in the affected area becomes red, swollen and painful. If left untreated it will almost certainly become infected and too painful to touch.
WHAT CAUSES INGROWING NAILS?
Anyone can suffer from in growing nails and the most common causes are poor or over zealous cutting, digging down the sides of the nail, picking at the nails, injury to the nail, poor foot hygiene or tight footwear.
Also, some people are genetically predisposed to in growing nails meaning that they have toe nails that naturally curve in at the edges.
If you think that you have an in growing toe nail you should visit an HCPC reg. Podiatrist as soon as possible.
AVOIDING INGROWING TOE NAILS:
Don’t cut the nails too short or down too low at the sides of the nail, don’t poke down the sides of the nail, try to maintain good foot hygiene as sweaty feet make the skin softer and the nail can pierce the flesh more easily and always wear protective footwear if e.g. working with heavy loads, so as to avoid dropping something onto the toes and damaging the nail.
Avoid tight footwear.
SHOULD YOU VISIT THE PODIATRIST IF YOU HAVE INGROWING NAILS?
Yes! The sooner the problem is addressed the better, both to avoid too much pain and also to minimise the chance of infection.
If an infection is present it is important to visit your GP in order to be prescribed antibiotics.
Many in growing nails can be managed routinely with regular skilled cutting by the Podiatrist but some more acute cases may require the removal of the problematic part of the nail under a local anaesthetic, again the Podiatrist will be able to do this for you.
Often pain at the side of the nail may feel like an in growing nail but the discomfort is actually being caused by a corn or hard skin in the sulcus (gap between the nail and the skin) and these can be removed during a routine appointment.
So, if you are suffering with in growing or painful nails, pain around the nails, or are just struggling with general nail care, give us a call on 01664 569708 and we will be glad to help.