Ingrown Nails - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the sides of your nail grow into your surrounding skin. It can be treated at home. But you must seek professional help if you have excessive pain and bleeding in it. Mostly an ingrown nail occurs in the big toenail. It causes redness, swelling, and bleeding from the skin underneath the nail. If left untreated, it can cause infection accompanied by pus and abscess. People with diabetes are at more risk of having complications due to ingrown nails. Therefore, if you have diabetes and have an ingrown nail, you must seek professional help. Do not treat it on your own. 


Symptoms 


The signs and symptoms of the ingrown nail are;


  • Pain in your toe- in one or both sides of the nail

  • Tenderness in toe- in one or both sides of the nail

  • Redness around your toenail

  • Swelling of your toe around the nail

  • Infection of the tissue around your toenail

  • Bleeding from the skin underneath the ingrown toenail

  • The building of fluid around the toe

  • Pain-when pressure is applied to the toe

  • The skin of the next nail also becomes red, hard, and swollen


If an ingrown toenail becomes infected, it may show the following signs and symptoms.


  • Pus discahrge from the skin 

  • Bleeding from the skin underneath the toenail

  • Pain 

  • Red and swollen skin

  • Skin overgrowth around the toe


You should treat the ingrown toenail as soon as possible to avoid further complications. 


Causes 


According to experts, toenails are common in people who have sweaty feet like teenagers as they wear footwear for a long time. Also, it can occur in older people because their nails thicken over time. Other things that can cause ingrown toenails are:


Cutting nails in an incorrect manner. If you angle the sides of the nails, it can provoke your nails to grow into the side skin. Therefore, try to cut straight. 


Wearing shoes, tights, or stocking that are too tight and constantly put pressure on your toenails. Due to long time pressure, they can grow into side skin. 


Getting any sort of injury like dropping something heavy on your foot or bumping into something or someone or kicking a ball for a long time. 


  • Not keeping your feet clean, dry and hygienic

  • Cutting your nails too short 

  • Poor posture

  • Genetic tendency to have an ingrown toenail

  • Having unusually curved nails 


Using your feet during athletic activities to kick a ball can make you prone to have an ingrown toenail. Therefore, you need to exercise extra caution if you play any kind of sports like football, ballet, soccer, and kickboxing. You may wear double socks to protect your nails to break and make sure you cut them frequently. The more you let them grow, the more chances of ingrown toenails increase. 


Prevention 


To prevent ingrown toenails, you should exercise the following measures;


  • Trim your nails straight across

  • Keep the length of toenails moderate. If you keep them too short the chances increase that they grow inside when pressure is applied by wearing shoes

  • Wear shoes that fit you properly. Do not wear shoes that are too tight. Doing that increases the chances of ingrown toenails due to the continuous pressure it exerts. 

  • If you work where the risk of getting injuries is more, wear steel-toed shoes that protect your foot and eventually the nails. 

  • If you have diabetes or any neurological problem due to which sensations are altered, keep checking yourself for an ingrown toenail. 


Treatment 


To treat the ingrown nail, the healthcare providers may partially remove the nail or remove the nail along with the tissue. However, it depends upon the severity of the symptoms.


Conclusion 


An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the sides of your nail grow into your surrounding skin. It can be treated at home. But you must seek professional help if you have excessive pain and bleeding in it. Mostly an ingrown nail occurs in the big toenail. It causes redness, swelling, and bleeding from the skin underneath the nail. If left untreated, it can cause infection accompanied by pus and abscess. People with diabetes are at more risk of having complications due to ingrown nails. 


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