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Ingrown Toenail

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the toenail grows into the flesh of a toe. It often occurs in the big toe.

If not treated properly, the tissue around the ingrown nail will become infected.

Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

The most common symptoms are:

  • pain
  • swelling and redness around the toenail
  • hard, swollen and tender nail
  • redness around nail
  • pus draining from nail

What causes an Ingrown Toenail?

There are many causes. The most common causes are:

  • improperly cut toenails
  • poorly fitted shoes
  • unusually curved toenails
  • trauma to the nail
  • trauma to the toe

Can an Ingrown Toenail be treated?

Yes. Your doctor will trim the portion of the nail that has grown into the toe. If the tissue around the nail is infected, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.

If necessary, the doctor will surgically drain an infection, Surgically correct a chronic ingrown toenail or completely remove a deformed toenail so it will not grow back.

Your doctor may also recommend resting your foot and soaking it in warm water.

Complications of an Ingrown Toenail

If not treated properly, complications may occur. Some complication are:

  • Infection, if present, may spread to foot and leg, or into blood stream.
  • Loss of nail plate from infection or inflammation of the nail bed.
  • Deformity of the nail plate and/or surrounding soft tissues.
  • Formation of a small benign tumor (granuloma) along the nail margin.

Can Ingrown Toenails be prevented?

Yes. Some prevention techniques are:

  • don't cut toenails too short
  • cut toenails straight across
  • wear socks and shoes that fit properly
  • don’t pick at your toenails
  • don't tear your toenails off.

 

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