Ingrown toenails are one of the most common problems that plague patients’ daily lives. In most general form, it can be defined as the penetration of the corner or edge of the nail into the soft tissue. We can also state that this problem is mostly seen in the big toe. With the ingrown nail, problems such as pain, redness and swelling can also be experienced. In such cases, possible complications should also be considered. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor.
Especially if the person with ingrown nails has various health problems such as diabetes and arteriosclerosis, the risk of developing complications due to ingrown nails is higher. Therefore, it is more important to consult a doctor. We will also explain what the symptoms of ingrown nails are and what kind of treatment is applied. First, let’s consider the reasons together.
What Causes Ingrown Nails?
The most common cause of ingrown nails is an imbalance between the size of the nail and the width of the area called the nail bed. Sometimes hereditary nail problems cause this problem, and sometimes the problem may arise due to the wrong cutting of the nail. We can say that ingrown nails may occur due to reasons such as choosing unhealthy shoes that are not suitable for the feet. In general, it is possible to give a short list of the causes of ingrown toenails.
- Imbalance between nail bed and nail width/length
- Using shoes that put pressure on or pinch nails
- Cutting nails much shorter than they should be
- Injury of the toenail for various reasons
- Having structurally curved nails
- Improper manicure and pedicure
- Nails are not cut straight despite being curved
- Inward curling of the toenails as a structural problem
- Trauma due to nail protrusion
By the way, the problem of ingrown nails is a problem seen not only in adults but also in children and babies. We can say that babies’ toenails grow very quickly. For this reason, babies’ toenail care should never be neglected. Even simple negligence can lead to ingrown nails, which is unsettling for babies. In the case of ingrown nails in babies, redness and swelling are usually seen at the point where the finger meets the nail. However, there is also the flow of current. Since finger sensitivity also develops, babies respond by crying if you touch them. In such cases, you should definitely consult a doctor.
What are the Symptoms and Types of Ingrown Nails ?
It is possible to list the symptoms of ingrown toenails as follows:
- Extreme tenderness in the area called the nail bed
- Area permanent pain or that pain
- Redness around the nail
- Swelling around the nail
- Heat increase in the tissue around the nail
- Having a discharge in the area of the nail ingrown
Especially in case of pain and discomfort, a doctor should be consulted. Most of the time, this situation is expected to go away on its own. However, sometimes inflammation can occur. Since ingrown nails make even walking difficult, medical intervention is required. You should not forget that ingrown nails can have serious consequences in the presence of conditions that cause poor blood flow to the feet. Therefore, it is important for those with diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis to consult a doctor without wasting time.
What is the treatment of ingrown nail?
It should be noted that simple methods that can be applied at home do not always provide treatment. In particular, methods such as putting cotton under the nails are frequently used in society. This method may work if the ingrown toenail is in its infancy and also has not emerged as a structural problem. The important point here is whether there is swelling, redness and severe pain in the finger. If these symptoms have occurred, it would be much better to consult a doctor instead of wasting time waiting . The possibility of inflammation is high in cases such as increased temperature in the nail area, pus flowing.
Sometimes it may be necessary to cut part of the nail or remove it completely for treatment. It should be noted that surgical intervention should be applied in the case of severe wrecks. Ingrown toenail surgery can be performed under local anesthesia. We can also say that it was an operation that was completed in a short time. In which cases ingrown toenail surgery is needed, we can list as follows:
- Failure of other methods and treatments applied
- Ingrown nail turning into a recurring problem
- Presence of certain diseases such as diabetes along with complications
In ingrown toenail surgery, the foot must first be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Then, numbness is achieved in the foot area with the injection of anesthetic substance. After the operation, a tourniquet is placed on the root of the finger to prevent bleeding. It is ensured that some or all of the nail is removed with special medical instruments. In this procedure, a vertical incision is made towards the nail root. The cut part of the nail is pulled and removed. Finally, bandage is applied and the surgery is completed. We can say that ingrown toenail surgery is a simple procedure that is completed within minutes. However, the patient may need to rest for a few days. It is important that the foot is protected from impacts after the surgery and that no pressure is applied to the foot area. For this reason, depending on the profession of the person, it may be necessary to take a break from business life for a few days.
What to Do for Ingrown Nails?
First of all, the things that can be done to heal this problem with a faster and more comfortable process are as follows:
- The feet should be soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes 3 to 4 times a day, every day.
- Afterwards, cotton or waxed dental floss can be placed under the toenail.
- Feet should be kept dry except for a warm foot bath.
- Those who have ingrown toenails should not cut their nails until healing occurs.
- It may be preferable to apply an antibiotic-containing cream and then cover the nails with a bandage.
- Choosing shoes is extremely important for those who have ingrown nails.
- Only comfortable shoes that do not put pressure on the nails should be used.
- Open-toed shoes should be worn as much as possible or sandals should be worn if the season is summer.
- Provided that you consult your doctor, pain relievers such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen , naproxen sodium can be used.
- Cutting the part of the nail that has sunk into the soft tissue can lead to the further progression of this problem, and in this case, the pain experienced by the patient may be much more severe.
How Does Ingrown Toenail Inflammation Pass?
In case of inflammation of the toenail, it is important to consult a doctor. For the inflammation to go away, the patient needs to use medication. This medicine must also be prescribed by the doctor. Antibiotics should never be used haphazardly. Depending on the patient’s condition, the dosage of the drug should be determined by the doctor. Methods such as squeezing the area where the nail is ingrown and applying pressure to this area are not successful in order to drain the inflammation. On the contrary, it can lead to the spread of inflammation and cause the pain experienced by the patient to gain a much more severe dimension.
Which Doctor to Go to for Ingrown Toenails?
For ingrown toenails, the orthopedics department of health institutions should be consulted. When a simple intervention is required, general surgeons perform an ingrown toenail surgery. You can write all your questions about ingrown nails in the comment section.