This is a painful condition of the nail, most commonly of the great toenail. This is characterised by pain, inflammation and often pus formation at the edges of the nail.
Ingrown nails may develop for many reasons. Some cases are congenital—the nail is just too large for the toe. Trauma, such as stubbing the toe or having the toe stepped on, may also cause an ingrown nail. However, the most common cause is tight shoe wear or improper grooming and trimming of the nail.
Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as they are recognized. If they are recognized early (before infection sets in), home care may prevent the need for further treatment:
- Soak the foot in warm water 3-4 times daily.
- Keep the foot dry during the rest of the day.
- Wear comfortable shoes with adequate room for the toes. Consider wearing sandals until the condition clears up.
- You may take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief.
- If there is no improvement in 2-3 days, or if the condition worsens, call your doctor.
If excessive inflammation, swelling, pain and discharge are present, the toenail is probably infected and should be treated by a foot & ankle surgeon. You may need to take oral antibiotics and the nail may need to be partially or completely removed. The surgeon will surgically remove a portion of the nail, a portion of the underlying nail bed and the infected granulation tissues. Consult your CuraFoot doctor for a thorough diagnosis.