Ingrown toenail

 Ingrown toenail

Ingrown toenails are nails that have punctured the skin as they grow forward. The Patient will usually present with painful areas around the nail plate, and the tissue around the nail may even be red and infected.

Ingrown toenail should not be ignored as they may become chronically infected and this in some cases may necessitate hospitalisation. Just stop to consider if you have an open wound that is kept in a shoe which is dark damp and moist, this environment is a great breeding ground for infection.

There is another type of nail which causes pain to the patient this is called an involouted toe nail. In this case the nail does not penetrate the skin as in the case of an ingrown toenail,  but it can press very heavily on the side of the toe and as result it can be extremely painful particularly when the patient wears tight shoes.

Many ingrown toenails are caused by self treatment, trying to dig down the side of the nail and pulling pieces of nail out is not a good idea. Some ingrown nails are caused simply by the shape of the nail, they are often very “fan” shaped nails and in time they will puncture the skin which will cause an ingrown nail. A patient should not try to self treat an ingrown toe nail as you may well make it worse. Cutting a vee “V” in the end of the nail will defiantly NOT stop ingrown toenails the problem will often get worse, so this is purely a myth.

At Brighton Podiatry we will try to cut the offending spike of nail out, if this is successful they may put you on antibiotics to help settle the infection.

If this does not resolve the problem or the nail is too badly ingrown we may perform what is known partial nail avulsion procedure or PNA, in this procedure we remove a small part of the nail. We also generally remove and destroy the cells that cause this section of nail to grow, this will ensure that this section which we removed does not grow back and cause problems again. This will minimise the chances of further problems with this nail. Carrying out this procedure is not as painful as most patients think, most patients are pleasantly surprised. The key is not to leave seeking advice too long, the longer it goes on the more chance we will need to operate.

Ingrown toenail 1 ingrown toenail ingrown toenail

Ingrown toenail some that present are worse than others dont leave it too long before seeking treatment.