Important Things to Know About Ingrown Nails


Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnatus, are a painful toe ailment. It happens when a sharp corner or edge of a toenail pushes into the skin at the tip or side of the toe. The pain and irritation initially appear at the point where the nail curls into the skin.

What Are Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails form when the edges or corners of your nails grow into the skin adjacent to them. Your big toe is likely to develop an ingrown toenail. You may treat ingrown toenails at home. However, they can produce difficulties that may require ingrown toenail treatment, so it is better to seek the assistance of a specialist.

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can affect both men and women, although they are more common in persons who sweat a lot, such as teens. Older persons may be at an increased risk since their toenails harden with age.

Ingrown toenails can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

- Cutting toenails incorrectly (cut straight across, as angling the sides of the nail might cause the nail to grow into the skin.)

- Uneven, curled toenails

- Footwear that puts too much pressure on the big toes, such as tight socks or shoes, can lead to toenail injuries

- Stubbing, dropping heavy objects, or kicking a ball repeatedly

- Poor foot care, including lack of cleanliness and dryness, as well as genetic predisposition

- If you spend a lot of time on your feet during sporting activities, you are more likely to get ingrown toenails.

Activities such as ballet, football, kickboxing, and soccer that involve frequently kicking an object or putting pressure on your feet for extended periods of time might damage your toenails and increase your chance of developing ingrown toenails. Additionally, bad posture might be a contributing factor.

What Are the Signs of an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be painful and often worsen in stages.

Early-stage symptoms include the following:

  • Symptoms may include sensitive, puffy, or hard skin near the nail, pain with pressure, and fluid accumulation around the toe.
  • Signs of a toe infection may include redness, swelling, and pain.
  • Symptoms may also include bleeding, pus, and skin growth around the toe.

Treat your ingrown toenail as soon as possible to prevent symptoms from intensifying. Ingrown toenails that are not diseased can typically be treated at home. However, get medical attention if your toenail has pierced the skin or shows signs of infection. Symptoms may include warmth, pus, redness, and swelling.

Complications of Ingrown Toes

An untreated ingrown toenail infection can lead to a toe bone infection. It can also cause foot ulcers or open sores and a reduction in blood flow to the diseased area. Tissue deterioration and tissue death can occur in the infected area.

Diabetes can make a foot infection worse. Even a minor cut, scrape, or ingrown toenail can quickly become infected due to a lack of blood flow and nerve sensitivity. If you have diabetes and are concerned about an ingrown toenail infection, visit your doctor straight away.

If you have a genetic susceptibility to ingrown toenails, they may recur or occur on numerous toes at the same time. Pain, infections, and other painful foot conditions that necessitate many treatments or operations can have an impact on your overall quality of life. In this instance, your doctor may suggest a partial or complete matrixectomy to remove the toenails causing chronic pain.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

To prevent ingrown toenails, make the following lifestyle changes:

  • Trim your toenails straight across, making sure the edges do not curl in.
  • Avoid cutting your toenails too short.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes, socks, and tights.
  • If you work in a dangerous environment, wear steel-toed boots.
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Thursday, 11 July 2024