Ingrown toe nails are a common foot condition that affectadults and children alike. As a nail grows out, it may become curved and latch onto the skin, causing significant pain. We call these nails “incurvated” and the condition of the nail becoming ingrown we refer to as “onychocryptosis”.
Signs and symptoms of an ingrown toe nail include redness around the nail, pain, clear or yellow drainage around the nail, and a curved appearance to the edge of the nail. This condition most commonly affects the great toe nail, but any toe can be involved. If left untreated, an ingrown toe nail can lead to a localized skin infection with to potential to spread to the surrounding areas of the foot.
Luckily, there are a several ways to manage this painful condition. If the nail is only partially ingrown, then the tip of the nail may be clipped to relieve symptoms and prevent infection. In these milder cases, it is also important to soak the involved foot in warm water with Epsom salts which act as an astringent to soothe the skin and decrease swelling. If the entire border of the nail is ingrown with signs of infection, it may be necessary to remove the entire border of the nail. This relieves the pain and also allows the area to drain any fluid or pus and thus prevent infection.
Once an individual has an ingrown nail, they may be predisposed to having subsequent ingrown nails. If this disease process recurs multiple times, one may consider nail cauterization. In this procedure, a special chemical is applied around the root of the nail to prevent that segment of the nail from regrowing.
No one should have to suffer any pain from an ingrown nail. Please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment and have the experts at Advanced Podiatry evaluate and manage any of your nail conditions!