An ingrown toenail is a condition wherein the corners or edges of the toenail curve, and begin to grow into the surrounding skin. As the nail grows, its new corner might go under the skin and get stuck leading to an extremely painful problem that may be associated with some degree of swelling and redness. This condition can also cause pus collection around the toe. It is caused by the edge of the toenail cutting into the skin or caused due to cutting of toenails too short, or wearing of small or tight shoes.
An ingrown toenail can get infected by bacteria or fungi that hang out in the shoes or on the feet and invade the broken skin caused by an offending nail border. These invading microorganisms commonly include Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Dermatophytes, Candida, and Trichophyton. The infected toenail can cause serious problems such as chronic pain and disfigurement, cellulitis, and bone infection if ignored. Thus, maintaining healthy toenails is important which is possible by preventing the toenail infection and getting early treatment of infected toenails.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails may show varied symptoms in its early stage and when it gets infected. The initial phase of the ingrown toenails shows symptoms including:
If the toe gets infected, people experience worse symptoms such as:
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails can happen in both men and women but are most common among teenagers with sweaty feet. As toenails thicken with age, old people are also at high risk of having ingrown toenails.
Many reasons could give rise to ingrown toenails. These include:
If someone is experiencing pain or color change in toenails, they must consult an expert dermatologist / dermatosurgeon to get relief from this condition.
Comorbidities associated with Ingrown Toenails:
As soon as the symptoms appear and the doctor recognizes it, the person must be treated, especially if the individual is diabetic, has nerve damage in the leg or feet, or has poor blood circulation in the feet and toes. Otherwise, the person might have to suffer severe complications. Following treatment options are suggested by Dr. Rajdeep Mysore, a renowned dermatologist/ dermatosurgeon in Bangalore.
1. Non-surgical treatments
The ingrown toenails that are diagnosed before an infection sets in can be treated normally by home remedies. This may prevent the need for further treatment. Home treatments that can be tried include:
If some of the nails that are pushing into the skin are already removed by the dermatosurgeon, then extra care shall be taken at home to prevent the problem from coming back. This is possible by gently lifting the edge of the ingrown toenail from its embedded position and inserting some cotton or waxed dental floss between the nail and skin. It is advised to change the cotton every day. Continue with antibiotics prescribed courses, if the area is infected.
Vinegar (a diluted form of acetic acid) is a harmless and versatile substance that has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic abilities. People having ingrown toenails can soak their feet for about 20 minutes daily in a basin of warm water combined with ¼ cup apple cider vinegar. After that, the feet must be dried thoroughly.
This is available in the form of a ring that fits around the affected area or as a covering for the entire toe which provides a barrier for ingrown toenails. It must be used as directed by the doctor until the ingrown toenail is gone.
This is meant for shielding the skin from a sharp, ingrown nail and to lift the nail edges as the nail grows. It is usually made of thin, adhesive, composite material and is glued to the top of the toe.
2. Surgical treatments
It is treated conservatively if the patient has had only one or two episodes of pain/ swelling. However, repeated infections around the nails or recurrent paronychia are an indication to surgically treat the patient.
This is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. It is a procedure where the side of the nail cutting the skin is removed up to the root or the nail matrix.
It is the most effective approach when the ingrown toenail gets infected and home remedies have failed to work. It is also suggested when the ingrown toenail condition becomes recurring even after it was treated medically. Surgery involves the elimination of the toenail edge, as it grows forward to prevent it from growing inward and cutting into the fleshy folds. Permanent removal of the nail may be advised for children with chronic, recurrent, infected ingrown toenails. The doctor may recommend removing part of the nail through toenail avulsion if the problem remains. The nail matrix giving rise to this portion of the nail is also chemically destroyed to prevent this part of the nail from growing back. The result is a permanent reduction in the width of the nail and long-term/ permanent relief from this troublesome condition.
In some cases, the doctor may cut away the edges of the toenail to make it narrow. Moreover, the folds of skin on either side of the toenail may also be removed. The surgery is carried out under local anesthesia so that the patient does not feel any sort of pain. If the toenail has become disordered or thickened, it must be completely taken out. This invasive procedure is usually not painful and most people can get back to their normal activity from the next day. To know more about the cost of ingrown toenail removal in Bangalore, meet the experts at Charma Clinic.
Also known as Simple Surgical Ablation, this procedure involves cutting away the offending piece of nail along the edge. Sometimes, chemicals are used to prevent further growth as there are chances of regrowth of the nail after wedge resection.
Is it possible to prevent ingrown toenails?
Following are a few tips shared by the top dermatosurgeons in Bangalore that help prevent ingrown toenails from developing:
To know more about ingrown toenail treatments and related costs in Bangalore, please feel free to get in touch with us.
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Disclaimer: This website (www.charmaclinic.com) aims to spread awareness about skin, hair, nail problems and their relevant treatments. The information shared here is generic in nature and can not replace the advice/ prescription of a qualified medical professional. Every individual may have different skin, hair, nail concerns and must be treated accordingly. Hence, medications or treatments mentioned on the website shall not be consumed/ utilized unless prescribed by a certified medical professional.