Ingown toenails can be excruciatingly painful and often prove to be a recurring problem. because young nails are thin and sharp like the blade of a scalpel, ingrown nails occur very frequently in children and teenagers but they are common in people of all ages, especially people with very curved or thick toenails. Ingrown nails occur when the nail grows into the flesh of the toe instead of over it. They can be caused in a number of different ways, from poor nail-cutting to being squeezed into shoes or even being stood on. The pain can be enough to stop you from participating in sport or in the most severe cases, can even prevent you from putting a shoe on. Although it doesn't make sense for anyone with an ingrown nail to leave it untreated, people with diabetes, vascular problems, or numbness in the toes need to be especially aggressive in treating and preventing them because they can lead to serious complications, including the risk of losing a limb. Because ingrown nails often become infected, antibiotics are sometimes prescribed. These do nothing to correct the nail but will attack any infection. To resolve the condition the offending section of nail must also be treated.
Ingrown nails do not improve with time - the longer you leave it, the worse it becomes. Follow this link to
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Conservative care is the best option if this is the first time the nail has become ingrown. This can be done under local anaesthetic if you are concerned
about any potential discomfort, but the treatment is quick and the relief is instant. When treating a nail this way, the side of the nail which is pressing into the skin is
gently trimmed until it freely slides away from the skin. allowing the clinician to clear a channel between the skin and the nail. A small file is then used to smooth the offending side of the
nail. This usually provides immediate relief from the pain. If necessary, the area will be padded with a dressing to provide extra comfort. Some ingrown nails cause swelling of the soft
tissue around the nail (like in the picture above). This is known as hypergranulation tissue and is the bodys response to the intruding nail segment. Was the offending section of nail has
been treated, this tissue will slowly shrink back to normal.
Surgical care is sometimes required if the problem is particularly severe or recurs frequently. If this is the treatment option that is best for you then
our chiropodist will discuss the various options at length with you, however, the following is a brief outline of what to expect. You can opt to have a section of the nail removed at the painful site
(partial nail removal), or have the entire nail removed (total nail removal). A partial removal will take away between one quarter and one third of the entire nail. The main advantages of
this option are that healing is much faster and your nail will still look relatively normal after the procedure. The advantage of a total removal is that problems from regrowth or from the
other side of the nail are much less likely to occur. In either case, the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and the nail bed is treated with a chemical solution to prevent the nail
from regrowing. You can expect the healing process to take 4-6 weeks. After this time you should experience no further problems from the nail.
STILL CONCERNED? You can e-mail our podiatrist who will be happy to discuss any concerns with you further. Simply send your email to email@example.com Or use our contact form.