Ingrown Toenail: What is it?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail digs into the skin adjacent to it. This results into similar symptoms to a foreign body reaction; the skin becomes inflamed and swollen. The ingrown nail can also cause an infection, which results in much more inflammation and might spread to the rest of the toe or the foot. Pus or discharge may result from an infection in this instance.
What causes and ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails can be caused by trauma, or may have no apparent cause at all. It has been suggested that some people may have a predisposition to ingrown toenails due to the shape of their toes or nails.
Should I seek advice or treatment?
If you have inflammation at the edge of the nail, it may be infected and you should see a clinician as soon as possible.
What treatments are available?
If the condition does not improve, it might be best to remove the corner of the nail bed to prevent the issue from recurring. This might be done by burning the nail bed out with a chemical or by cutting it out surgically. This operation is successful in 95% of cases and is usually carried out under local anaesthetic.
I had my nail taken off for an ingrowing toenail. Now it’s grown back and is digging in again. What else can be done?
It would be worth consulting with your podiatrist.