Ingrown Toe Nail

An ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis) is caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. Once the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it produces inflammation. Initially presenting as a minor discomfort, it may progress into an infection in the adjacent skin (cellulitis) and/or become a recurring problem. Ingrown toenails most commonly affect the big toes. An imbalance between the size of the nail and the enlargement of the nail skin edge causes ingrown toenails. This condition can be exacerbated by improper trimming of the toenail, an inherited or hereditary condition, and improper shoe fitting. Injury by overly aggressive pedicures and nail picking are also common causes. Some people’s toenails naturally curl inward (known as pincer nails). These toenails can easily become painful. Adolescents and athletes perspire more often. This causes nails and skin to be soft. The thin nail can eventually split and pierce the softened skin.

Ingrown toenail symptoms and signs include redness, pain, and swelling. Sometimes there may be a clear yellowish drainage, or if it becomes infected, pus drainage. Young children may show signs of limping in order to avoid putting pressure at the ingrown toenail site. Occasionally, ingrown toenails resolve without treatment. A podiatrist should treat painful, persistent, and recurring ingrown toenails. If the ingrown toenail has been present for a long time, a very vascular tissue called granulation tissue may form that easily bleeds. There are various types of treatments, including self-care, soaking, avoidance of shoe pressure on the toenails, proper methods to trim the nails, and various surgical treatments. Sometimes antibiotics may be required.

 

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45 Channel Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders, TD1 1BJ.

Located in the heart of Galashiels with on street parking, our ground floor clinic is wheel chair accessible and is a 2 minute walk from the transport interchange and car parks. Our fully equipped clinic also has a treadmill and video gait analysis lab with space for MSK rehabilitation, gait retraining and strength and conditioning.

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