Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail cuts into the surrounding skin and, most commonly, affects the big toe. This can be caused by a curving of the nail, improper nail clipping, too high-heeled or too narrow shoes and toe deformities such as a bunion.
For some people ingrown nails only happen occasionally but for others, they can be a regular occurrence. Symptoms range from mild discomfort to prolonged and infected ingrown toenails, when the toenail area becomes red, swollen and painful.
Treatment at Home
If you are prone to this affliction, cut your nails rounded and keep them relatively short.
If the nail becomes red and inflamed, soak the toe in warm, soapy water with a handful of salt and carefully trim the affected nail. If this does not alleviate your symptoms, make an appointment with your Podiatry Consultant at Baddow Hospital.
When conservative treatment options are no longer providing the comfort you need, arrange a further consultation at Baddow Hospital to discuss surgical options.
If the ingrown condition is mild, simply cutting the nail properly can alleviate your symptoms. However, if the area is infected, your Podiatry Consultant may need to remove the nail section that is causing the infection.
The toe will be numbed before removal and will stay numb for a few hours after the procedure but within 24 hours you should be back to normal, with your toe feeling substantially improved.
If the condition tends to recur, your Podiatry Consultant will discuss alternative, permanent solutions with you.