Does the following scenario seem familiar? On numerous occasions you find yourself with a very sore big toe. Every couple of months you find yourself digging at your nail to help relieve some of the pain that you have been experiencing. After one too many painful toes you decide to visit your local podiatrist. On observing your toe your podiatrist finds quite a significant ingrown toenail.
So what exactly are ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails occur as a result of the sides of your nails growing into the skin instead of over the top of it. A common appearance of an individual with an ingrown toenail will present with nails that are curved or thickened, the surrounding skin tends to become tender and/ or swollen, increased pressure on the toe results in pain and an increased amount of fluid begins to build up. Over time ingrown toenails which are left untreated may develop an infection, which may result in redness, swollen skin, pain, bleeding, oozing pus and the surrounding skin growing over the nail.
If you question why you continue to develop ingrown toenails when they are constantly being removed. The most common causes include:
- Trauma- i.e. dropping a box on your toes, activities that lead to constant pressure of your toes like running and kicking and stubbing your toe
- Improper trimming- cutting nails too short and curved
- Improper footwear- which may be too tight, small or big causing your toes to constantly hit the ends when walking, running and standing
- Nail conditions- such as fungal infection, nail loss due to trauma, psoriasis etc.
By reducing the number of causes that may be resulting in your ingrown toenails as well as removing the offending nail spike, you end up reducing your chances of consistently developing ongoing ingrown toenails. If signs of infection are present appropriate treatment must be undertaken to reduce chances of progressing.
If you have been suffering from an ingrown toenail come and visit one of our friendly podiatrists today for an assessment. You don’t have to walk around in pain!
You can call us on 03 8645 9800 or