Ingrowing toenails are a painful and common problem that can really make you miserable! Ingrown toenails (onychocryptosis) can be caused by many different things, such as a spike of toenail cutting into the surrounding nail skin, ill-fitting footwear, excessive sweating and improper trimming of nails.
Ingrowing toe nails can affect anyone at any time, however are very common in younger boys (due to sweaty feet in shoes), people with nails that are very curved, or toes that are fleshy and large.
If an ingrown toenail remains untreated it may become red, swollen, painful and infected with blood and pus present at the sides of the toenail.
If you suspect an ingrowing toenail, there are a few things you can do to help it resolve.
- Soak the toe in warm, salt water twice a day for 10 minutes.
- Apply antiseptic liquid to the affected area (for example Betadine).
- Cover the side of the toe with a breathable island dressing (Primapore style) to prevent dirt and bacteria getting into the inflamed area
- See your podiatrist who can help by removing the spike of nail, this can generally be undertaken at the time of the appointment, with very little pain or discomfort and this will provide immediate relief.
For more persistent/recurring ingrown nails, a local anaesthetic maybe given to numb the toe, this will allow us to remove a small piece of nail and apply a chemical to prevent the ingrown re-occurring.This can be done in the clinic and you can simply walk out after the procedure with a shorter recovery time when compared to other surgical procedures. Once healed it is difficult to even tell if a piece was removed.
If you would like to know more information about this management please contact us today!