What are Ingrowing Toenails?
This is a common condition seen by foot specialists in which the sides of a nail curves down and pierces the skin and can lead to inflammation and infection of the adjacent tissue. The condition most often occurs in adolescence but can occur at any age.
Sometimes a section of nail (termed a spike) can become embedded in the flesh and this needs to be removed as it can be a source of pain and infection.
Causes of Ingrowing Toenails
Whilst the most common cause of ingrown toenails is bad trimming of nails, other causes exist. Such causes include trauma, poor fitting footwear and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
In simple cases, all that is required is for the spike to be removed with a small scalpel or fine nippers.
The nail may require filing, followed by cleansing with a sterile solution. Sterile cotton wool is firmly packed a little under the nail plate to help elevate the nail. An interdigital (between toes) wedge may be used to reduce pressure from the adjacent toe. After a few days the nail is again inspected and repacked. This is repeated at intervals until the nail has returned to its normal shape and length. In more complicated cases minor nail surgery may be required.