Nail Problems - Ingrown Toenails
Most often, the nail of the big toe is affected by this condition.The nail becomes ingrown when one or both sides grow into the skin on thetoe. The skin then becomes red and swollen, causing pain. Sometimes, aninfection can result.
Some people are born with the tendency to develop ingrown nails.They inherit this directly from one or both parents who may have sufferedfrom the same problem. Other causes may be a tight-fitting shoe, an injuryto the toe, or trimming the nail incorrectly.
For a painful ingrown toenail, removing the ingrown portion of thenail often gives fast relief from pain and infection. For a recurring problem,part of the nail and the growth plate are removed by chemical or surgicaltreatment. If the nail is ingrown on both sides, it may be necessary toremove the entire nail and growth plate.
Follow-up and Prevention
After the ingrown portion of the nail is removed, your doctor maygive you antibiotics if the toe is infected. Follow your podiatrist's instructionsfor wound care. When chemical treatment is used, you can usually get yourfoot wet the next day. The toe will heal as you soak the foot as per yourdoctor's instructions. If you have a permanent surgical correction, itis important to keep the foot dry until the stitches are removed in about10 days. Some bleeding is to be expected. If the entire nail is removed,a "false" nail will grow in after a few months. Ingrown nails can be preventedby carefully trimming nails straight across and by wearing shoes that arenot too tight.
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