♦ How Do Ingrown Nails Occur?
Ingrown nails are condition caused by the corner or edge of a toenail that breaks the skin thus causing pain, inflammation and quite often infection. This infection usually leads to people trying to remove the offending corner of nail to relieve pain. Ingrown nails can occur for several reasons. One reason is the shape of the toe nail. Some people have genetically curved nails or “U” shaped nails. The edge of the nail will thus have a tendency to grow into the flesh on the edge of the toe. People with this type of nail often find it necessary to routinely remove the corner of the nail to prevent pain. The second reason is people who routinely cut their nails too far into the corners. This causes the surrounding tissues to grow over the nail edge thus causing the nail to grow into the tissue when it grows longer. The third reason is trauma to the toe. This quite often happens when the tip or corner of the toe impacts a shoe often when running or gets stepped on. The tissue swells around the nail corner causing pain and inflammation.
♦ Treatment for Ingrown Toe Nails
Your Podiatrist will determine the appropriate treatment for your ingrown nail. For minor ingrown nails treatment may include dulling of the offending corner with a special instrument. Your Podiatrist will also advise you on proper nail cutting technique if nails were cut improperly. For moderate ingrown nail, your Podiatrist may numb your toe with a local anesthetic and remove the offending edge of nail. Soaking with Epsom Salts or White Distilled Vinegar may also be recommended following this procedure. For severely ingrown or infected ingrown nail, your Podiatrist will most likely numb your toe with anesthetic; remove the offending edge of nail (either permanently or temporarily depending on your history of ingrown nails). Soaking will also be required as well as possible prescription for antibiotics. You will have a bandage for 24 hours and then you may apply band-aids to toe until healed.