An ingrown toenail is exactly what it sounds like, it’s where a toenail curves and grows into the skin instead of growing normally. This tends to occur along the nail borders (along the sides of the nail) and this digging in can cause painful swelling and redness.
An ingrown nail can lead to infection, especially if it causes a break in the skin which is often characterised by further inflammation and leakage of pus.
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What causes an ingrown toenail to happen?
Ingrown toenails are something that can effect both men and women, but they do tend to be more common in those with sweaty feet. It also poses a higher risk for the elderly due to the way that toenails thicken with age. There a number of different things that can cause an ingrown toenail such as;
- The natural shape of the nail can be considered as a potential cause due to their curved nature
- Incorrectly cutting your nails, to reduce the risk of an ingrown toenail it’s advised to cut straight across the nail as angling the sides can encourage the nail to push into the skin
- Footwear (including socks) that place a lot of pressure on the toes can push them into the skin
- Injury to the toe or to the toenail. such as stubbing your toe, can cause an ingrown toenail to develop
- Depending on your genes, you can already be at a predisposition to experiencing an ingrown nail
It’s also possible that participating in activities such as ballet or football where you repeatedly put pressure on the toes (or kick an object) can cause damage to the toenails as well and increase the risk of an ingrown toenail developing.
What are the complications of an ingrown toenail?
If it’s left untreated and to worsen, an ingrown toenail can cause some severe problems for the foot including an infection within the bone. This kind of infection can trigger the appearance of foot ulcers, open sores and a loss of blood flow to the area, ultimately resulting in a possible of tissue decay and death at the infection site.
If you suffer from diabetes, this can have even more serious implications as even a small ingrown toenail can become infected quickly ue to the lack of blood flow to the area and sensitivity within the nerves.
Genes can also play a part in the complications that present themselves as some people have a predisposition to ingrown toenails. In these cases, to improve quality of life it can be recommended to undergo a number of total nail removal surgeries.
The Nantwich Clinic perform nail surgery to treat ingrown toenails
Pain free removal of the nail or corners of the nail under local anaesthetic provides a permanent solution to ingrown nails.
A partial nail removal surgery involves the removal of just the piece of nail that is digging into the skin and causing the problem, leaving the sides cut away so that they are completely straight. A total nail removal may be required if the nail has thickened, and will leave you with the entire toenail being removed.
The entire procedure can be performed in approximately 45 minutes. Price includes dressing packs and three follow up dressing appointments.
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We provide treatment options for many different foot and toe nail issues, including athlete's foot, chilblains, ingrown toenails and verruca's.
Cosmetic podiatry is an emerging field in podiatric care that addresses the aesthetic cocerns as well as the functional concerns of the feet.
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