In-growing Toenail

Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Bangalore

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:

  • Pain while pressure is put over the toe.
  • Swelling, hardness, and tenderness felt on the skin around the ingrown edge.
  • Accumulation of fluids around the toe. 

 

If the toe gets infected, people experience worse symptoms such as:

  • The appearance of pink or red skin next to the ingrown toenail.
  • Extreme pain.
  • Clear yellowish drainage or oozing of pus.
  • Bad smelling toe.
  • Limping to avoid putting pressure on the ingrown toenail area. 
  • Bleeding of the granulation tissues may be formed due to the presence of an ingrown toenail for a long time.
  • Skin overgrowth around the toe.

 

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:

  • Wearing tight-fitted socks, tights, or stockings on big toes. Even footwear that is too tight or is of the incorrect size can push the skin on the sides of the toenail, on the surface of the toenail, thereby forcing the toenail to grow into the soft skin. 
  • Severe toe injuries lead to falling of the toenail which gets later replaced by an ingrown toenail. 
  • The shape and curvature of the toenail can also cause this condition. The shape is often determined by your genetics.
  • Sports, trekking, walking for long hours can also cause this condition
  • Age-related weakening of foot arches and curvature of bones in the edge of the toe
  • A repeated physical activity that puts pressure on the toes like kicking a soccer ball, football, kickboxing, or doing ballet over and over again. 
  • Incorrect cutting of the toenails i.e. either not cutting them straight across or angling the edges of the toenail can encourage the toenail to pierce into the skin and allow it to grow inside. 
  • An unusual or irregular curvature of the toenails increases the likelihood of the toenail growing into its nearby soft tissue and causing inflammation and infection.
  • Improper foot hygiene like not keeping it dry and clean. Ingrown toenails can happen when the skin on the toes and feet is moist and warm. A fungal infection can also pose a risk.
  • It runs in families that means some people may be born with larger toes and ingrown toenails. 

 

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:

  • Ingrown toenails can get infected easily. The microbial infection can begin with the nail border and progress into a deeper soft-tissue infection, which in turn can lead to bone infection. Thus, if an ingrown toenail is left untreated, it can result in bone infection of the toe.
  • Scarring of the surrounding skin and nail borders as well as thickening and deforming of the fungus affected ingrown toenails.
  • At the nail fold, there may be an enlargement of soft tissues that easily bleeds and drains.
  • Foot ulcers and a loss of blood flow to the infected area.
  • If the candidate is diabetic, it could lead to worsening of the toenail infection. Due to the lack of blood flow and sensitivity of the nerves, even a small scrape or cut may get quickly infected. 
  • A poor quality of life due to pain and infections of the toenail that further require multiple treatments or surgeries.

How can Ingrown Toenails be treated?

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:

 

  • Soak in warm water: The patients can soak their feet in warm water twice daily  (for about 15-20 minutes) and keep the feet dry for the remaining part of the day. 
  • Apply antibiotic ointment: Over-the-counter topical antibiotics must be applied to the toe at least three times daily and covered with bandages to avoid getting infected. These antibiotic ointments can promote healing. 
  • Until the toenail problem clears, the person must wear open-toe sandals and comfortable shoes with sufficient space for the toes.
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever: Ibuprofen can reduce pain and swelling.  

 

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.

 

  • Soak in apple cider vinegar (a folk remedy for ingrown toenails)

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. 

 

  • Use a toe protector

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.

  • Use a toe brace

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.

 

  • Lateral Nail Plate Avulsion with Chemical Matricectomy

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.

 

  • Wedge Resection

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:

  • Make sure that the toenails are cut across in a straight line and not rounded at the corners. It is better to try cutting nails after a bath. A rounded or pointed shape of the toenail may create misshapen edges which may lead to ingrown toenails.
  • The nail must not be cut shorter than the toe or as short that it starts hurting can increase the chances of the toenail growing into an abnormal shape.
  • If the person possesses poor blood circulation in the feet or is unable to cut his/her nails, then a regular visit to a podiatrist is required for professional trimming. Even patients having diabetes or peripheral vascular disease need to be extra cautious.
  • Maintain feet hygiene by keeping the feet and toes clean and dry as infected ingrown toenail is less likely to occur in such a case. 
  • Tight shoes cause pressure and if shoes are too loose, the toes may hit against the tip of the shoe that may cause an added pressure and potentially lead to an ingrown toenail. Thus, shoes must be of proper length and width so that the toes do not crowd. Make sure to choose footwear that fits properly, including shoes, socks, tights, and stockings. 
  • If the person is working in a hazardous environment, it is advised to wear steel-toe boots. 
  • Clippers that are specifically designed for toenails must be used since these are of the right shape and provide enough force to quickly trim the nails. Avoid using dirty clippers as they can cause microbial infections under the nail.

 

To know more about ingrown toenail treatments and related costs in Bangalore, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Bangalore

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Chirag Hospital, 3rd floor, #1635, 17th main, J P Nagar 2nd phase,
Bengaluru - 560078

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+91 9731236668

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Monday to Saturday : 9.30AM to 7.30PM
Sunday : Closed!

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Charma Clinic

The word Charma means skin in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. Charma was conceptualised in the summer of 2013 as a centre to treat dermatological problems. It was started in Chirag Hospital, a small nursing home in South Bengaluru.

Charma Clinic

Chirag Hospital, 3rd floor, #1635, 17th main, J P Nagar 2nd phase, Bengaluru - 560078

Clinic Timings

Monday to Saturday : 9.30AM to 7.30PM
Sunday : Closed!