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How To Prevent Ingrown Nails

Symptoms Of Ingrown Nail In Cats

How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Youll immediately know that a nail has become ingrown when it becomes excessively curved and theres a sore in the cats paw. Your cat may also experience some swelling of the pad, toe, and foot. Youll also notice that your cat is excessively chewing, biting, or licking at her toe and shes extremely sensitive when the affected foot is touched. Moreover, your cat may also be limping and there may be bleeding from the foots pad.

What Are Symptoms Of Ingrown Nails

To avoid discomfort, youll want to learn how to recognize the symptoms of an ingrown toenail before it becomes infected.

  • Its common for the top of your toe to become swollen when you have an ingrown toenail. Any toenail can become infected, but the big toes are usually the ones most affected.
  • Besides a swollen area around the toenail, the area can also be red and painful. The pain can occur when you press the edge of the toenail or when you squeeze the affected area.
  • In addition to the redness and swelling, you may experience oozing pus in more severe cases.
  • With the infected toenail, it might be painful or difficult to put on shoes or socks.

What Is The Treatment For An Ingrown Toenail

Treatment is dependent on the stage of the condition. However, at any stage of an ingrown toenail, the patient should avoid tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes. If possible, wear sandals until it has cleared up.

Stage 1 ingrown toenail should be managed conservatively using the following methods.

  • Warm water soaks soak the foot in warm water four times a day.
  • Wash the foot including the affected area twice a day with soap and water.
  • Cotton-wick insertion in the lateral groove corner gently lift the edge of the nail that is digging into the skin and place a small piece of rolled cotton, gauze, dental tape or floss, between the nail and the skin to keep it elevated. This may be painful but should be done after every soaking.

Stage 2 ingrown toenail may require the administration of topical or oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotic ointments combined with local anaesthetic agents help to heal the toe faster and also provide pain relief by numbing the affected area. Surgical removal of the ingrown toenail may be required if the condition worsens.

Stage 3 ingrown toenail is often treated surgically. The surgical technique of lateral nail avulsion plus matricectomy is highly successful. A brief description of this procedure is given below.

The following post-surgery procedures should be followed:

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How To Spot An Ingrown Toenail

A toenail fungus is quite noticeable with yellowish nails, but you might not notice an ingrown toenail in the very early stage. A toenail trending into the skin on the side of the toenail is the first subtle sign. Next, youll feel pain.

An ingrown toenail occurs when a small bit of nail at the edge pierces into the skin at the sides of the nail, causing the body to create an inflammatory reaction of redness and swelling, says dermatologist Marcia S. Driscoll, MD, associate professor of dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Most often, ingrown toenails affect the big toe. Its that piercing part that causes all the fuss and a very sore toe. Addressing the symptoms early is key.

Heres the breakdown of the symptoms in each stage:

  • Stage 1: The nail has grown and pierced into the skin on the side of the toe. The skin on the side of the ingrown toenail hurts and becomes inflamed.
  • Stage 2: New inflamed tissue starts growing at the edge of the ingrown toenail, which produces pus. The toenail is red and swollen and feels sore and tender to the touch.
  • Stage 3: Inflammation and pus continue. Meanwhile, granuloma begins growing over the nail. The skin around the infected area is red and feels very sore.

Tips For Clipping Your Toenails To Prevent An Ingrown Toenail

Best way to cut toenails to prevent ingrown

You probably dont think about your toenails much unless youre treating yourself to a pedicure — or you have a painful ingrown toenail.

In humans, toenails are our version of claws except they are wider and flatter. Although their function changed as man evolved, toenails still function in two important ways as a counter balance while walking and as a shield to protect our toes from injuries as well as infections. This protection function isnt a given though. We need to do our part with at-home care so that toenails can do theirs.

Dr. Jarna Rathod -Bhatt and Dr. Rahul Bhatt, our highly skilled podiatrists at Apple Podiatry Group, share their expert advice on how to clip your nails to prevent ingrown toenails.

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Who Gets Ingrown Toenails

Anyone, at any age, can get an ingrown toenail. Even so, they tend to happen more often in teens and people over 65, says Shari Lipner, MD, a dermatologist, and director of the nail division, and professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell University in New York City. Hormonal changes during puberty, along with all the excessive sweating from doing sports, raise the risks.

For some older people, taking care of feet and nails becomes a bit more challenging with aging. Its just more difficult to reach the feet and toes, let alone trim the toenails properly. Plus, toenails get thick with age, presenting a challenge to squeeze down hard enough to clip the toenails properly.

How Doctors Treat Ingrown Toenails

Its important to see a board-certified dermatologist will examine the toenail, perform a wound culture and drain and/or give you a prescription antibiotic, says Dr. Lipner. In some cases, a podiatrist may do an office procedure known as a partial nail avulsion may be necessary to decrease the width of the toenail at the offending border to relieve pain and pressure. Typically you can return to normal activities in a few days. But thats something you should discuss with your doctor before the procedure.

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Dont Cut Nails Too Short

When it comes to clipping your toenails, proper technique is super important. Cutting the nails too short is the leading cause of ingrown toenails. Properly trimmed toenails should measure slightly longer than the tip of the toes. If you cut your toenails too short, the corner edge of the nail can dig into the skin — and voila, an ingrown toenail develops.

Unless you have particularly rigid toenails, trimming your toenails when theyre dry is best and makes for a smoother cut. If you soak your nails or clip them when you get out of the shower or bath, they can bend or tear more easily.

Ways To Treat Ingrown Toenails At Home

Ingrown toenail – how to prevent and treat ingrown toenails

For a mild ingrown toenail, meaning you have some slight tenderness and swelling, sometimes you can simply treat at home. You can:

  • Soak your feet in warm water or apply a warm, moist compress to your offending toe until the nail is flexible .
  • Dry your feet and between your toes thoroughly to avoid sweat or dampness.
  • Place a clean wedge or any straight splitter under the edge of the nail to help lift it up away from the skin. Apply antibiotic ointment to the area when youre done.
  • Wear open-toed shoes or shoes with a large toe box.
  • Take OTC pain reliever to help reduce mild tenderness and swelling.

If these steps dont do the trick, and your toe is red, tender or oozing, this could be a sign of infection and will require a trip to your doctor or podiatrist. You may require an oral antibiotic if you have an infection, and your doctor may need to remove the ingrown part of the toenail with a local anesthetic.

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What Can A Doctor Do For An Ingrown Toenail

Your doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or podiatrist can treat an ingrown nail with a minor procedure, or in certain cases with surgery.

This typically involves numbing the toe or foot with an injection. The skin on top of the ingrown nail may be removed with a scalpel.

The ingrown nail section is then partly or completely removed. You will not feel any pain during the procedure expect for the injection.

If you have ingrown nails often, your surgery may include use of a laser or chemical procedure to remove a part of the nail bed permanently so that it no longer grows as wide.

Keep Feet Clean And Dry

Ingrown toenails are very common, and once infected, they can become serious enough to require surgery. Avoid infections that can develop in moist, dirty conditions, and always practice good hygiene with your feet. Keep them clean and dry at all times, and using baking soda inside closed-toed shoes to reduce excess moisture.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Cat Ingrown Nail

Most ingrown nails go unnoticed until a cat begins to show signs of discomfort.

Long-haired cats have the highest risk of developing the following symptoms

  • Lameness in gait or posture
  • Limping due to pain
  • Depression because of the painful paw
  • Lethargy cat refuses to do any activity to rest the paw
  • Withdrawal behavior when in pain, cats tend to withdraw, grow aggressive, or hiss at intruders
  • Excessive licking or biting into the paw pad one of the early signs of trouble

Treatment For Cat Ingrown Nail

How To Prevent an Ingrown Toenail from Coming Back

Your vet will clip the hair around the affected nail and trim all the other nails. The affected nail shouldnt be touched as it will be uncomfortable and even painful for your cat if its clipped and removed from the flesh. Next, the vet will flush and clean the wound to remove any foreign materials. Some cats may need to have their foot bandaged but this will depend on how severe the ingrown nails growth is. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics to prevent further infection but this will depend on the ingrown nails depth and age.

To speed up the healing process, your vet may recommend Epsom salt soaks at least 2 times a day once the ingrown nail has been removed. Vets also recommend that treated cats should use large pellet-type litter for their litter box temporarily until the wound is completely healed. NHV First Aid Spray may be used to reduce the inflammation and speed up the healing process while Omega 3 is a good supplement to maintain healthy nails.

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Cat Ingrown Nail Causes Treatment And Prevention

It is not only humans that suffer ingrown nails from time to time and yes, cats do, too. While it can be a painful condition, your cat will rarely complain about it and is even good at hiding the pain and discomfort. However, a cat ingrown nail shouldnt be dismissed as it could pose risks to your cat as she may develop an infection, sores, and other severe complications if its left untreated.

Nutrients Particularly Beneficial To Toenail Health

Protein – The building block for nails. It is required for healthy and rapid toenail growth. Toenails require 8 to 12 months to renew themselves . Low protein intake may cause white nail beds and slow toenail growth. Dietary sources of protein include eggs, milk, cheese, meat and beans.

Biotin – Essential for healthy nail structure. Reduces nail brittleness and improves flexibility. Liver, nuts, and fish are great sources of biotin.

Iron – Iron-deficiency anemia can lead to a pale color, a brittle, ridged texture and cause the toenails to become flat or concave, rather than convex. Iron can be found in animal sources, such as meat, fish, and poultry, and can also be found in fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts, and grain products.

Vitamin C and folic acid – Lack of vitamin C and folic acid combined with protein deficiencies produce hangnails. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron in the body, as well as aids in various tissue functions.

Vitamin A, D and calcium – Lack of vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium can cause toenails to become dry and brittle. Sources of these vitamins include milk, cereal, juices, salt-water fish, fish-liver oils, and some vegetables.

Vitamin B12 – Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to excessive dryness, darkened toenails, and rounded or curved toenails. Vitamin B12 can only be found in animal sources such as liver and kidneys, fish, chicken, and dairy products.

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What Causes An Ingrown Toenail

Many things can cause ingrown toenails. One main cause is wearing shoes that do not fit well. Shoes that are too tight or too small can press on your toenail in unnatural ways. Improperly trimmed toenails are another main cause. Toenails that are peeled off at the edge or trimmed down at the corners are more likely to become ingrown.

An injury to your toe also can cause an ingrown toenail. People who have deformed or misshaped toenails have a higher risk of ingrown toenails.

Visit To The Foot Care Studio

How To Prevent & Treat Ingrown Toenails

The podiatrist is a trained medical podiatrist who can take care of the care and health of your feet. Get advice from him to prevent ingrown nails.

Regular professional nail and foot care is not only pleasant, but also extremely helpful. Find an experienced specialist who is perfectly familiar with this area. This is how you can prevent infection.

The precautionary measure to avoid ingrown nails is very simple. All you have to do is take care of your feet and consult a specialist if anything is abnormal.

Dont forget that anatomical aspects of the nail bed also play a role. This is why ingrown toenails are more common in some families. In this case, you should be particularly careful and never neglect nail and foot care.

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When Should I See The Doctor For An Ingrown Toenail

For something minor like an ingrown toenail, it may seem like overkill to visit the doctor. But if an infection sets in, ingrown toenails can be serious and almost always need care by a doctor or nurse.

If you notice any of the signs of infection, like discharge, warmth, or a bad smell, contact your doctor, who may ask you to see a podiatrist . Sometimes the podiatrist needs to remove the corner of the nail that is stuck and drain the pus or liquid that has built up in the skin. Not to worry, though first the doctor will use medicine to numb the toe and you will feel much better when it’s done.

If the nail keeps growing back into the skin, sometimes the doctor will do a small surgery to remove a larger section of the nail or, rarely, the whole nail. Taking care of the toe after an ingrown toenail is removed is almost as important as the surgery itself. Doing as your doctor says after surgery will help you prevent infection and make the ingrown nail less likely to happen again.

Solution With Water And Iodine

Every day, after you come from work, get off your shoes and soak your feet in a bowl of warm water in which you have added a measure of iodized povidone. This medicine has strong antimicrobial properties and prevents the formation of pus around the nail grown in the flesh.

  • Cut a slice of lemon and place it on the affected nail.
  • Wrap it in a bandage and let it stay that way overnight.
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    Whats Happening When A Nail Grows In

    Ingrown toenails happen when the side or top corner of your toenail grows in to the flesh around the nail. One or both sides of the big toenail can be ingrown.

    This can happen when the nail becomes damaged, bent, or has been growing against external pressure. One example is if you wear the same shoes every day and those shoes compress your toes together or put pressure on the side of your toe and nail. Instead of growing straight, the toenail edge curls down, digging into the skin and flesh.

    Several things can put pressure on or damage the nail, increasing the risk of an ingrown toenail. These include:

    • a fungal or bacterial infection in the nail
    • constantly sweaty or damp feet
    • damaged or torn nails
    • not trimming the nail properly
    • wearing high-heeled shoes
    • wearing tight, narrow, or poorly fitting shoes

    Injuring your nail by stubbing your big toe can lead to an ingrown nail. Other causes include chronic illnesses or not getting the right nutrients in your diet for healthy nail growth. Family history or being on certain medications also increases your risk.

    It can also simply be anatomical. The shape and size of parts of your toe may make you more prone to getting ingrown nails.

    Ingrown nails are a common nail condition. See your doctor if:

    • you keep getting ingrown nails
    • it doesnt improve

    Prevention For Cat Ingrown Nail

    Effective Way to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

    To avoid your cat developing ingrown nails and ensure the well being of your cat, make sure that you give her adequate exercise. She should be able to scratch her nails on concrete, gravel, asphalt, and other abrasive surfaces to keep nails properly filed. Most importantly, your pet cats nails should be regularly trimmed at least every 4 to 6 weeks as recommended by groomers. In case you are having trouble with your cat not co-operating read our tips on how to trim the nails of an aggressive cat.

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    Use The Proper Equipment

    As is the case with most maintenance projects, having the proper tools to do the job is a big part of doing it correctly. Use toenail clippers or scissors that are especially made for trimming toenails. Fingernail clippers are smaller and have a more rounded cutting surface, whereas toenail clippers are flatter. You can round out your toenail clipping toolbox with a nail file or emery board, but remember to file only in one direction so you dont damage or fray the nail.


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