Ingrown toenails can occur if the toenails are excessively trimmed. This occurs if the edges of the nail grow directly into the surrounding tissues of the toe, resulting to discomfort and pain.
What are the causes?
Ingrown toenails often form if the toenails are not properly trimmed which causes the nail plate to be far from its normal edge. The tender skin ends up inflamed and the pressure on the toe from the shoes becomes painful.
Other causes include the following:
- Foot injuries such as stubbing the toe or having the toe stepped on
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes that places pressure on the interior edges of the big toe
- Bed sheets that are tucked too tightly around the toes
- Running that results to pounding and pressure on the toes from shoes that are too short
What are the indications?
You can easily spot an ingrown toenail after trimming. In case the toenails appear trimmed too far, revealing the pinkish tissue at its borders, it indicates an ingrown toenail.
After some time, discomfort and tenderness develops and the tissue around the edges might become red and swollen. As the toenail continues to drive into the adjacent tissue, the pain becomes evident which makes walking and sitting difficult.
Individuals with ingrown toenails might also notice the following:
- Nail does not grow out on its own to correct the situation
- Trimming the nail back as it grows becomes painful and difficult
- Contact with shoes and socks can trigger intense soreness in the region of the ingrown toenail
Management and prevention
The ideal way to get rid of ingrown toenails is to take extra care when trimming the toenails.
- Keep the toenails short, somewhat longer than the toe tips.
- Pay close attention to the natural line of the nail and trim carefully, ideally straight across with specially-designed toenail clippers.
- Avoid gouging into the corners of the toenails while trimming.
Other recommendations when caring for ingrown toenails or to prevent one from developing in the future include the following:
- Utilize the appropriate toenail clipper
- Avoid digging into the nail corners
- Use shoes that properly fit with ample space in the toe box
- Immerse the affected feet to keep them clean
- Apply a mild antiseptic
Always bear in mind that as the nail starts to cut into the skin, many attempt to correct the issue by trimming the extended nail. Remember that this will only worsen the condition and even leading to deep imbedding of the toenail into the flesh.
In case the condition persists, it is best to see a podiatrist so that the extending edges are removed.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on ingrown toenails is for learning purposes only. Learn to provide proper wound care for ingrown toenails by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.