An ingrowing toenail is a toenail whose end grows into the flesh.
Causes of an ingrowing toe nail
The main cause of ingrowing toe nails is footwear. When it is fixed too tightly in the bottom of footwear, thetoe nail attempts to finds its position and ultimately grows back towards the flesh and continues to grow. There are also genetic predispositions to ingrowing toe nails, although other significant causes include certain medicines and poor pedicure (cutting nails into their corners).
Symptoms of ingrowing toe nails
The nail can grow inwards along the sides (simple ingrown toenail) or forwards (anterior ingrowing toenail). The first symptoms are sharp stabbing pain (with walking, pressure or continuously), with redness and swelling of the affected area. They may become infected and it is therefore important to seek advice and treat ingrowing toenails as soon as the first signs develop.
Treatment of ingrowing toenails
Ingrowing toenails can be avoided by cutting nails correctly (not into the corners) and wearing sufficiently wide footwear.
Infections are treated with antibiotics and antiseptics (foot washes). Metal clamps or resin rods can be placed to stop the nail growing inwards. Surgery is offered if they recur frequently.
Toenails suffer heavy use in footwear resulting in ingrowing toenails. © Filip Malkovic, Wikimedia, CC by-sa 2.0
Ingrowing toenail - 1 Photo