Ingrown toenails, technically referred to as onychocryptosis, is an often painful condition where the nail becomes wedged into the soft tissue of the toe often resulting in pain, redness, swelling and infection. These are all symptoms often associated with the condition however in some cases only mild discomfort is observed. Ingrown toenails are a very common condition that presents to a podiatry clinic. Males and females are equally likely to develop the problem and genetics plays a role in susceptibility. Whilst a lot of the time people are able to successfully treat ingrown toenails at home, those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes or experience severe pain and/or infection should always seek the guidance of a podiatrist.
Common causes of ingrown nails
Ingrowing toenails can be caused by a varying number of factors. Some may work in conjunction while others may be standalone and enough to result in discomfort. Some common causes of ingrown toenails include:
Common treatments for ingrown nails
Most patients I have seen with ingrown nails, are able to be given relief with a simple resection (cutting) and removal of the ingrowing wedge of nail. Sometimes this can be done conservatively (partial nail clearing) or under a local anaesthetic in a procedure called a partial nail avulsion (PNA).
Many things can be done at home however to reduce not just the pain or an ingrowing nail, but also to help treat any existing infections that may have formed as a result. Some methods include:
Ingrowing toenails are painful enough to disrupt your day, but they do not need to. If you, or someone you know is suffering from ingrowing toenails, please contact us and let our experience guide you on the road to happy and healthy feet.