Ingrown nails occur when the toenail begins to curve and grow into the skin. There are many causes of ingrown toenails. Some of these are uncontrollable and just bad luck, as in the case of genetic factors. Some more controllable causes that may lead to the growth of ingrown toenails are tight shoes and cutting the toenails too short, or picking at the nail. The main reason individuals seek treatment for an ingrown toenail is the pain. Other symptoms that may coincide with pain include:
Even if there is no pain, it is important to pay attention to toenail health because an ingrown toenail could lead to an infection. Those with diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation should never attempt to treat their ingrown toenails at home. If you have good general health and suspect you have an ingrown toenail, soak the nail in warm salty water for 5 minutes then dry thoroughly. If pain persists or infection develops, visit your Podiatrist who will determine a proper course of treatment. The Podiatrist will clear the offending nail edge and provide advice regarding management – short term and long term. In some cases, a minor surgical procedure may be required under a local anesthetic.