Ingrown toenails are a benign condition that occurs when part of the toenail penetrates the surrounding flesh. They cause mild inflammation and pain in the affected area. Although they mostly affect the big toe, they can also occur in the lesser toes.
Ingrown toenails are generally associated to improper nail trimming habits. Wearing shoes that are too tight, trauma, or nail deformation may also cause ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are symptomised by irritation, reddening, swelling, discomfort, and often, pain. The nail risks becoming infected and causing pus to drain.
Proper toenail care and the use of a proper nail trimming technique are the best ways of preventing ingrown toenails. Toenails should be trimmed straight with a nail clipper in good condition. Corners must not be trimmed. In the event of deformed toenails or diabetes, it is better to give the task of nail trimming to a professional. In the event of pain, disinfect the nail and closely monitor the state of the nail. If the pain persists or appears in other toes, it would be wise to consult a podiatrist.
Treating an ingrown toenail may be as simple as trimming the afflicted toenail. A minor surgery may be necessary in some cases, however. Under local anesthesia, the podiatrist removes the part of the nail under the skin and destroys part of the nail matrix, which prevents the regrowth of the afflicted portion of the nail. In general, this minor intervention is painless and has excellent aesthetic results. Recovery is very quick, with most patients going back to their daily activities the following day.
Clinique podiatrique de l’Estrie podiatrists are very experienced in ingrown toenail treatment procedures. They are well qualified to evaluate the seriousness of the situation and recommend the treatment that best suits patients’ needs.