Ingrown toenails can be highly painful and frustrating to deal with. They are particularly common in the cooler months when narrow closed toe footwear is typically worn, such as boots.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail digs into the flesh on the side of a toe resulting in the skin being pierced. When the skin is pierced bacteria can enter resulting in an infection. Signs of an ingrown toenail may include pain, redness, swelling and pus or fluid.
Causes of ingrown toenails can include:
Tearing and picking nails
Incorrect nail cutting technique
Poor fitting footwear
Trauma to the toenail
Inheriting involuted (curved) nails
At home treatments can be used if you have recognised the beginnings of an ingrown toenail which can prevent the need for further professional treatment:
Ensure you are wearing comfortable shoes. Consider wearing open toe shoes, to limit pressure on the toe.
Soak the affected foot in a clean container with warm water and Epsom salts for 10 minutes per day.
Apply an antiseptic cream and dressing to the sore edge.
If there is no improvement after a few days, or symptoms worsen you should contact the clinic to have your toe treated by a Podiatrist.
If there is excessive pain, swelling and pus/discharge you may require oral antibiotics which a GP can prescribe.
Most ingrown toenails can be treated relatively quickly by a Podiatrist in the clinic, with many people finding relief from having the offending piece of nail properly removed.
Chronic or severe ingrown toenails may require a minor surgical procedure performed at the clinic using local anesthetic. Nail surgery involves the problem portion of the nail being removed and a solution applied to stop the nail from re-growing in the region. The outcome is a normal and straight looking nail edge.
For people who suffer chronic ingrown toenail pain and infections, having the long-term treatment of a nail surgery can be a large relief.
For more information, call our office on 6272 4000 or click here to make a booking.