When the nail on a person’s toe grows into the skin instead of growing over the top of it, it is referred to as an ingrown toenail. The big toe is the most often affected. People whose toenails are curved or thick are more likely to develop the condition. Any person can develop them however as the result of injury, shoes which do not fit properly, and incorrect foot hygiene and grooming. Individuals with vascular, or circulation, problems, diabetes, and numbness in the toes will have to take special care of ingrown toenails and as quickly as possible because they will be more prone to developing serious complications as a result.
Nails become ingrown when they are damaged or if they are cut the wrong way. Often, the place where the skin is growing over the nail hurts because of the excess pressure and it can also get infected. Cutting the toenails too short or excessively rounding the edges of the nail by wearing shoes which don’t fit in addition to hosiery or socks which put pressure on the nail because they are overly tight are the most common cause of ingrown toenails. An infected ingrown toenail will cause the skin to become very red, and pus can accumulate. If this is the case and pain does not dissipate after attending to the nail, contact the podiatrist immediately. This is especially true for diabetics.
To prevent and ease symptoms, make sure to employ proper hygiene habits. Grooming the nails correctly and avoiding shoes or socks which put too much pressure on the nails can help to correct the condition. It is also very important to lessen the pressure during preliminary healing by wearing sandals or not wearing shoes for several days. People should not trim the corners of toenails as well unless this task is done easily. If the ingrown nail has been left untreated or if it becomes infected, medications can be prescribed by the podiatrist and, if required, the doctor can remove part of the nail.
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