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How To Treat An Ingrown Toe Nail

Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenail

How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail | WebMD

The signs and symptoms with which, we can identify the occurrence of ingrown toenail, are:

  • Pain along the margins of the nail
  • Pain while wearing footwear, which gets worsen with time
  • Redness and swelling in the toenail
  • Discharge of yellow fluid
  • In some cases, an unusual fever also occurs
  • Watery discharge with traces of blood

How Can I Prevent An Ingrown Toenail

You can take these steps to prevent an ingrown toenail:

  • Soak the nail in warm water before cutting, or cut nails after a shower or bath.
  • Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
  • Do not tear or rip nails.
  • Trim toenails across the top. Dont round the corners.
  • Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
  • Avoid repetitive trauma to the sides of the nails.
  • If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider. With diabetes, do NOT be hesitant about seeking medical help.

How Can Ingrown Toenails Be Prevented

  • Cut your nails straight across do not cut them too short or too low at the sides. The corner of the nail should be visible above the skin.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Let air get to your toes when possible.
  • Avoid tight shoes and use cotton socks rather than synthetic.
  • If you have diabetes, you should take extra care when cutting your nails:
    • Cut the nail straight across or follow the shape of the end of the toe, but be very careful not to cut too low at the sides as above.
    • Gently file any sharp edges with a nail file.
    • If you have any loss of feeling in your feet, you should visit a podiatrist to have your nails trimmed, rather than doing it yourself.
    • If you can’t see your feet or nails very well, you should visit a podiatrist to have your nails trimmed, rather than doing it yourself.

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What Does The Recovery From Toenail Surgery Entail

The operated foot should be elevated for the remainder of the day. Typically, the dressings are removed the day following the procedure. Cleansing of the wound or soaks in Epsom salts and/or antimicrobial soap followed by application of an antibacterial cream and small bandage twice a day for one to two weeks can help to prevent infection. Open toe or loose-fitting, wide toe box shoes are recommended to avoid pressure to the toe while healing. Your doctor may want to see you return in a few weeks to ensure appropriate healing of the procedure site.

How Is An Ingrown Toenail Treated

Proper Treatment of Ingrown Toenail

You can treat an ingrown toenail at home. These steps help control the infection and prevent further pain:

  • Soak the foot in warm water and Epsom salts twice daily.
  • Keep the foot dry the rest of the time.
  • Gently lift the edge of the nail and place some cotton or dental floss between the nail and the skin. Change the pad every day.
  • Use an antibiotic cream and a bandage.
  • Wear roomy shoes or sandals.
  • Use pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if needed.

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What To Do About Your Childs Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail can cause a lot of pain, especially in children. There are different causes for an ingrown toenail, but the most common are tight shoes. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner tells you how to identify ingrown toenail from other feet infections, prevention and what to do if your child gets one.

Dr. Gellner:


Other Diseases Affecting The Toenails

While ingrown toenails are the most common foot ailment, there are various foot diseases that cause nail problems and often have to be ruled out before diagnosing ingrown toenails.

Lichen Planus: Lichen planus, or LP, is a form of dermatitis that causes skin lesions on the foot . In about 10 percent of cases, toenails are affected, causing ridging and grooving, splitting, nail thinning and eventually, nail loss.

Alopecia Areata: While most people think of alopecia in terms of hair loss, the impact it has on nails is sometimes the first sign of the disease. Within this disease, offending nails become pitted or split, frequently causing a rough appearance and white spots.

Onychomycosis: This fungal infection of the fingernails or toenails might involve any part of the nail . Onychomycosis can cause pain/discomfort and even disfigurement, and the progression of the disease may result in problems with standing, walking and exercising. The foot complications involved with onychomycosis are also frequently responsible for causing social and professional limitations to those afflicted.

Final Thoughts on Ingrown Toenails

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The Best Ingrown Toenail Clippers

âIngrown toenails rarely âgrow outâ on their own. It is important to use a good, sharp, sterile clipper to remove an ingrown and prevent infection,â Dr. Canuso wrote, and this is the recommended pair. The super-sharp blade is made from stainless steel and features a 25-degree arc to fit the natural curvature of the nail. Theyâre also larger than many competing pairs for ease of use and feature thick, soft, nonslip handles on either side of the double springs.

One reviewer wrote: âGet these if you struggle with ingrown toenails. Takes me minutes and no pain, they are so easy to use and actually get to what is hurting you! I wish I had gotten them sooner.â

Its Time To See Your Podiatrist

How to treat ingrown toenail by Dr. TJ Ahn

If you notice excessive growth and redness, or oozing pus where your toenail meets your toe bed, it is time to make an appointment with your New Hampshire podiatrist. This is the third stage of an ingrown toenail during which you have an infection. An infection must be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your podiatrist. You might have a fever by this point, and the toe will probably feel warm and tender to the touch. It is best if you can see your foot doctor before your ingrown toenail gets to this stage if home treatment has not worked.

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How Are Ingrown Toenails Diagnosed

Your doctor will most likely be able to diagnose your toe with a physical exam. If your toe seems infected, you might need an X-ray to show how deep the nail has grown into the skin. An X-ray can also reveal if your ingrown nail was caused by injury.

If you need help finding a primary care doctor or gastroenterologist, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.

Ingrown toenails that arent infected can normally be treated at home. However, if your toenail has pierced the skin, or there is any sign of infection, seek medical treatment. Signs of infection include:

  • warmth

Approach To The Patient

Surgical Approach to the Ingrown Toenail

Obtain surgical consent after explaining to the patient the risks, benefits, and alternatives. Place the patient in a supine or seated position with the affected toe and foot hanging off the end of the table.

  • Prepare the affected toe with standard povidone iodine solution. Use lidocaine or bupivacaine without epinephrine for local anesthesia in a digital block fashion.

  • Use a tourniquet or rubber band around the toe to assist in hemostasis for only a short duration use with caution in patients with known peripheral vascular disease or diabetes .

  • Identify the lateral 20 to 25 percent of the ingrown nail as the site of the partial lateral nail avulsion. Use a nail elevator under the nail to separate it from the nail bed .

  • Use a nail splitter to cut from the distal end of the toenail straight back toward the cuticle beneath the nail fold .

  • Grasp the avulsed lateral nail fragment with a hemostat down to just past the cuticle. Remove it by twisting the avulsed nail outward toward the lateral nail fold while pulling in a straight direction toward the end of the toe. Ensure that the entire nail fragment and flat edge of the nail bed is retrieved to prevent formation of a nail spicule and the potential for recurrence of an ingrown nail.

  • After surgery, apply a dressing of antibiotic ointment , 4 X 4 gauze, tube gauze, and paper tape, ensuring a comfortable bandage .

  • Information from references 8, 12, and 17.

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    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:

    Risks Complications And Things You Should Know About Ingrown Toenails

    Ingrown Toenail Pain Treatment

    Its also important to note that if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, youre at greater risk of complications of ingrown toenails. Thats just another reason to treat your diabetes.

    Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection. Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes, which can cause poor blood flow and damage nerves in your feet. So a minor foot injury a cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail may not heal properly and become infected.

    A difficult-to-heal open sore may require surgery to prevent the decay and death of tissue . Gangrene results from an interruption in blood flow to an area of your body.

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    How Is An Ingrown Toenail Diagnosed

    You can often diagnose an ingrown toenail yourself, based on your symptoms and how the toe looks.

    Your healthcare provider will likely diagnose an ingrown toenail by inspecting it. Theyll examine the skin at the edge of the nail. They will diagnose an ingrown toenail if the skin is:

    • Growing over the nail.
    • Swollen, tender, warm and red.

    How To Treat Ingrown Toenails Correctly

    08 June, 2020

    Onychocryptosis is the technical term for what we know as ingrown toenails. This problem tends to being very painful and quite unpleasant, and mainly affects the big toenail, causing swelling and, in most cases, infection. In todays article well find out how to treat ingrown toenails correctly.

    Its very important to treat ingrown toenails correctly so that they dont turn into a more serious problem. Thats why weve put together the following article detailing the entire treatment process for ingrown nails, as well as a few tips to alleviate the pain caused by this problem.

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    What Causes An Infected Ingrown Toenail

    The warm, moist environment of the feet can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. These commonly include Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, dermatophytes, Candida, and Trichophyton. When there is a break in the skin from the offending nail border, these organisms can invade the area and cause an infection. Treatment for these infections is essential to maintain healthy toenails and feet. The medical term for infected ingrown toenail is called paronychia. If not treated, the infected toenail can cause serious problems such as chronic pain and disfigurement, cellulitis, and bone infection.

    Soak In Apple Cider Vinegar

    How to Fix Ingrown Toenails Easily

    Apple cider vinegar is a folk remedy for almost everything these days, including ingrown toenails. Its believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving abilities, although scientific evidence is limited at best.

    To try this remedy, prepare a basin of warm water combined with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Soak the affected foot for up to 20 minutes daily. Dry your foot thoroughly after soaking.

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    The Best Extraction Tools

    These extraction tools have over 5,500 reviews and an overall rating of 4.6 stars. Dr. Canuso also recommends them: âThese are important because if an ingrown toenail comes back, it is usually because not enough of the nail was cut away in the first place. Extraction tools help to make sure that it is as easy as possible to remove the amount of toenail that is needed.â The set comes with nine pieces , and theyâre all made from durable, easy-to-clean stainless steel.

    One reviewer wrote: âGreat product great price. Worked like a charm. Had an ingrown nail for over a year.â

    Causes Of Ingrown Toenails

    Dr. Botek shares the most common causes of painful ingrown toenails:

    Heredity. Many people inherit the tendency to develop ingrown toenails from one or both parents.

    Ill-fitting footwear. Crowding your feet into socks and shoes that are too short or tight can set up an environment for painful ingrown toenails to develop. This is why adolescents and teens often get ingrown toenails. Due to sudden growth spurts and body changes, teens and adolescents may outgrow their footwear quickly and can end up wearing them a while before buying better-fitting shoes, Dr. Botek says.

    Trauma. Occasionally, stubbing or jamming your toe, dropping something on your toe or participating in activities that put repeated pressure on your toes can cause ingrown toenails to develop.

    Improper trimming. One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is cutting them too short. When nails are very short, it encourages the skin at the sides of the nail to fold over it. Dont be overzealous with the clippers and be sure to cut straight across.

    Pedicures. Many women enjoy getting pedicures. Nothing wrong with that, but make sure to go to an experienced technician. Pedicures can cause ingrown nails if the nail technician is overly aggressive in cutting back a toenail, says podiatrist Dina Stock, DPM.

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    Key Points About Ingrown Toenail

  • This is a common problem that particularly affects teenagers and young adults, and people who are overweight.
  • It usually affects your big toe but can also happen on other toes.
  • Causes of an ingrown toenail include badly cut toenails, poorly fitted shoes, tight socks, fungal nail infections, foot injuries, sweaty feet or genetics.
  • Symptoms include pain and redness at the nail edges of your affected toe.
  • Treatment ranges from self-care measures to minor surgery to remove your whole nail or to cut away part of your nail.
  • You can often prevent an ingrown toenail by cutting your nails correctly and not wearing poorly fitted shoes and socks.
  • See your doctor urgently if you experience the following:
    • your pain gets worse or self-care measures are not helping
    • your toe becomes more painful and swollen and pus can be seen
    • you have a fever and feel unwell
    • the redness on your toe has spread into your foot or leg
    • you have diabetes and an ingrown toenail.

    What Causes An Ingrown Toenail

    Where to Get a Toenail Straightening Spring Clip

    An ingrown toenail can have many causes:

    • Incorrectly cut toenails. If you cut your toenails too short or rounded, the nail may grow into the skin.
    • Improperly fitting shoes.
    • Tearing the corner of the nail.
    • Toe trauma, such as banging your toe or getting stepped on.
    • Congenital for instance, if your nail is larger comparatively with your toe, or the surrounding tissue of the nail border naturally grows around your nail.
    • What are the signs and symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail?

    At first, an ingrown toenail can feel hard and swollen. If the nail grows into the skin, or the skin grows over the nail edge, bacteria can enter. The nail may become infected. Signs of ingrown toenail infection include:

    • Liquid or pus coming out of the toe.
    • Pain.
    • Toe feeling warm or hot.

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    Wear Comfortable Shoes And Socks

    Shoes and socks that are too tight can crowd your toes. This is considered to be a leading cause of ingrown toenails. To help prevent an ingrown toenail from developing or worsening, wear shoes and socks or hosiery that fit but still leave ample space in the toe bed. During the healing process, avoid shoes or wear sandals as much as possible to limit pressure on your toenails.

    Can Ingrown Toenails Be Prevented

    To help prevent an ingrown toenail:

    • wear shoes that fit properly
    • keep your feet clean and dry
    • trim your nails properly briefly soak your foot in warm water before trimming, and make sure you cut straight across, without tapering or rounding the corners or cutting them too short

    People with diabetes or persistent foot problems should see a podiatrist regularly for routine foot checks and nail care.

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    Destruction Of The Matrix

    Although phenol has antiseptic and anesthetic properties, it may cause tissue damage and possibly infection, delaying postoperative healing.20 The best evidence demonstrates that partial nail avulsion followed by phenolization or direct surgical excision of the nail matrix are equally effective in the treatment of ingrown toenails.16 Another study found that partial nail avulsion with phenolization yielded better results than partial avulsion with nail matrix excision.21 In the latter study, local antibiotics did not reduce the risk of infection or recurrence of the ingrown toenail, and phenolization did not increase the risk of infection more than matrix excision.21 A Cochrane systematic review found that partial nail avulsion combined with phenolization is more effective at preventing symptomatic recurrence than surgical excision without phenolization, but has a slightly increased risk of postoperative infection.8 Trials evaluating different treatment methodologies have not adequately assessed patient satisfaction because follow-up time in each trial was less than six months, which is not an adequate time period to measure symptomatic recurrence. Although phenolization may be the most appropriate and beneficial treatment for most patients, risks and benefits should be discussed with each patient.


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