Ingrown toenail is a frequent pathology, which affects mostly the big toe. The nail folds on its edges and penetrates the flesh, causing pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes cutting of the skin.
What causes an ingrown toenail to appear?
- Nails cut too short, with rounded corners
- Too tight shoes
- Age: older people have thicker nails, which favors the appearance of an ingrown toenail.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?
How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?
- Cutting straight nails instead of rounded ones
- Avoid using nail clippers, and prefer scissors specially adapted to nail clipping
- Wear shoes that are wide enough to avoid compressing the toes
What are the treatments?
If the ingrown toenail is more advanced and home care is insufficient, the doctor may cut the small part of the nail that is digging into the skin (the toe is first numbed with anesthesia). To treat an infection, topical or oral antibiotics are prescribed. Sometimes pieces of flesh must be incised.
In case of frequent recurrences, a surgical procedure that consists of removing the lateral portion of the nail causing the problem can be done. A chemical (phenol) or laser treatment then destroys the root of this portion of the nail, permanently preventing it from growing back.