What To Expect With An Ingrown Toenail
The side of the nail may appear red and swollen and is often mistaken for an infection. When the nail is ingrown and breaks the skin, the wound will not heal properly unless the spike is removed. There is often an underlying infection due to the open wound leading to further problems.
People with eyesight problems, mobility issues, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or other circulatory disorders, and children/teenagers should avoid any form of self-treatment and seek immediate medical attention. The reason for this is because ingrown nails can have complex complications, and the risks are heightened for these groups.
Common Causes Of Ingrown Toenails:
There are many different reasons as to why someone may experience an ingrown toenail. Some causes include:
Inherited wide or curved nail shape
Improperly trimmed nails leaving a spike at the corner
Tight footwear or poor biomechanics
Trauma to the feet
Similar to having a piece of glass or splinter embedded in your skin, the offending spike of the ingrown toenail requires immediate medical attention and must be removed promptly. To reduce the risk of infection, clean the toe(s) with saline solution and apply a small dressing to cover the wound until you can see your Podiatrist.
Your Podiatrist is highly qualified to treat ingrown toenails and infections. The particular treatment for this condition will include removing the spike and cutting back the nail to a length which will promote the nail to grow straight without causing more pain. A dressing may need to be applied to help encourage wound healing and reduce the risk of infection. The Podiatrist may also need to administer some antibiotics to treat any underlying infection.
In some cases, a section of the nail needs to be permanently removed, this procedure is called ‘Nail Surgery’. Nail surgery is a safe procedure which in most cases, does not require stitches and provides aesthetically pleasing results with fast recovery rates. Podiatrists are experts in performing small delicate procedures with razor-sharp precision, so have experience and skills to complete this surgery.
Before nail surgery can be performed a full neurovascular assessment with an in-depth medical history must be obtained to ensure the patient is suitable.