Ingrown Toenail Treatment
An ingrown toenail is a painful medical condition that can affect anyone regardless of age or other medical conditions. Luckily, there are a variety of treatments that can help repair an ingrown toenail. Do not ignore your infected nail. It is important to pay a visit to a healthcare provider. Only a medical professional can make a complete diagnosis taking into account all pertinent factors including past medical history and underlying conditions. Other medical problems and conditions can resemble the symptoms of an ingrown toenail to an unqualified person. Local trauma, tumors, toe fungus and foreign objects embedded under the skin may look the same but require a different treatment plan. An ingrown toenail is caused when the edge of the toenail bends downward and become imbedded into the skin on the toe. An ingrown toenail can often happen after trimming your toe nail too short or if your shoes are too tight or short.
Ingrown Toenails: Possible Complications
If an ingrown toenail persists over a long period of time, it can have serious consequences. It is not uncommon to develop a paronychia (localized) infection along the area where the nail edge cuts into the skin. If not treated a paronychia infection can develop into a dangerous deep, soft-tissue infection (called cellulitis), which can further advance into a very serious bone infection (called osteomyelitis).
Complications can additionally include:
- Nail Fold Hypertrophy: Scarring of the skin and nail borders surrounding the site.
- Onychodystrophy: Thickening or deformation of the nail.
- Onychomycosis: Fungal infection of the toenails.
The soft tissue at the site of the nailfold may become enlarged. It will frequently bleed and drain.
Other Complications of Ingrown Toenail Surgery
While not considered a particularly risky procedure, as with all surgery there is a small risk of complications resulting from infected toenails surgeries. They are rare but have been known to occur. Some of the post-surgical complications include:
- infection at the procedure site,
- prolonged discomfort surrounding the site of the procedure,
- a slowly healing wound (especially common in those with diabetes) and
- symptom recurrence.
You are at a higher risk of post-surgery complications if you fail to follow properly the instructions of care for the nail. Luckily, in most cases, these complications can be managed with relative ease. If it’s known that you are prone to infection, your healthcare provider might prescribe a course of oral antibiotics following the procedure.
How To Prevent Ingrown In Future?
1. Trim Your Nails Straight!
Your doctor may have told you that it happened because you didn’t correctly cut your nail the last time you visited for treatment.
Ingrown nails are more likely if your nails are curved, as the curve angle makes it simpler for your nail to grow into the skin.
You may not realize it, but clipping your nails incorrectly can lead to problems such as ingrown toenails. But now is the moment to shift your perspective and begin properly pruning them.
Also, don’t cut them too short because the skin may grow higher than the nail, causing an ingrown nail to reappear or an infection if there isn’t enough coverage.
2. Protect Your Feet
You must have stopped playing your favorite games like soccer if you are hurt or have a persistent ingrown nail, right?
If so, you’re doing fantastic, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t keep performing them until you’re completely recovered.
Running and jumping should also be avoided. They may not appear to be dangerous, but they can cause pain and make it difficult for your ingrown nail to heal.
Avoid any workout that involves putting pressure on your feet or toes.
If you play soccer, make sure to give your feet ample time to heal after each game and get medical attention if you notice any issues.
Selecting a Healthcare Professional to Treat your Ingrown Toenail
Most practicing medical professionals are not qualified to treat toenails, they lack proper tools and specific training. Many people may first visit their family physicians, urgent-care walk-in physicians, pediatricians or dermatologists when seeking treatment for an ingrown toenail. With that said, podiatrists are doctors that specialize in the foot and ankle. They are uniquely qualified in the medical community to treat your condition. He or she will likely have much more experience dealing with conditions such as yours, plus a podiatrist’s office will be equipped with all the required instruments necessary to perform a variety of ingrown toenail procedures.