Ingrown Toenails occur when the edge of the toenail cuts into surrounding tissue, resulting in inflammation. It can also happen when the skin grows over the toenail bed.
Ingrown toenails can cause enormous pain; you might also find the skin bordering your nail bed is red, irritated and swollen. Sometimes, an ingrown nail can cut into the skin, potentially causing an infection.
Common causes of ingrown toenail include:
- Improper trimming: Cutting your nails too short or cutting your toenails down at an angle; both encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail.
- Heredity: It is often a condition that runs in families as a result of genetically wide nails.
- Injury: When a toenail is stubbed or uplifted, it might become thickened and grow back in a way that cuts into the tissue
- Ill-fitted footwear: Tight-fitting or narrow shoes place excessive pressure on the toenails. Sports-related footwear, for instance, soccer shoes, rugby shoes and ice skating boots tend to be tightly fitted.
Myth: Cutting a “V” in a toenail will relieve the pain of ingrown toenails
This is an old wives’ tale and doesn’t stop ingrown toenails since all nails grow from the base upward; thus, the V-shaped trim won’t affect the direction your nail grows.
View this video below to see how MyFootDr does the total nail avulsion care management:
Care Management Options
Conservative care management options for less severe cases of ingrown toe nails are dependent on why the ingrown nail has occurred, how long it has been a problem, and its severity.
- A podiatrist can remove the sharp piece of nail with specific podiatric instruments. We don’t recommend pulling or picking at it yourself as it can worsen the problem or create infection.
- If conservative methods are not successful, a minor surgery called Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) is often performed to remove a small portion of the nail plate, and a chemical called Phenol is used to prevent that area from regrowing. This procedure involves local anesthetic skillfully administrated by your podiatrist to ensure the surgery is pain free.
Following the Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) procedure, most people experience very little pain after surgery and may resume normal activity the next day.
Home Remedies that Help
- Trim your toenails properly: Once the toenail has grown and is long enough to clip, don’t make the same mistake again when trimming. Trim it straight across and don’s taper the edges or clip them at angles. Also, refrain from cutting them too short as it will further agitate the injured toe.
- Foot bath with Epsom salt: Soaking your ingrown or infected toe will help relieve the pain and pressure of an infection. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of Epsom salt in two quarts of warm water. You can use table salt if you don’t have any Epsom salt laying around. Soak your foot for about 15 minutes. The magnesium in the salt will also help the foot muscles relax. Don’t forget to dry your foot thoroughly! Keeping your toes dry is important because bacteria and other potential pathogens such as fungi prefer moist warm condition in which they can flourish.
- Clean the ingrown toenail portion with an antiseptic such as chlorhexidine and apply an antiseptic ointment afterwards (eg betadine ointment) and keep it dressed with a cotton dressing (try to avoid water proof dressings)
- Wear comfortable footwear: Footwear that provides adequate room in the toe box; that allows the toes to splay the way naturally. Make sure to keep your feet dry to prevent infection.
- Seek urgent podiatric help to prevent deterioration and more severe infection.
The Podiatry team at my FootDr Singapore are all highly trained and skilled at managing and resolving this condition holistically.
Call our friendly reception team today to book your appointment.