One of the most agonizing pains our feet have been experiencing is pain coming from an ingrown nail. The bigger your toe is, the more likely you will suffer an ingrown toenail. You may wear an ill-fitting footwear, or you may be clipping your nails in the wrong way — those habits may also cause ingrown toenail. Genetics may also play a big part to having an ingrown toenail, which results to chronic foot pain. If the pain becomes severe or is spreading, you will definitely go to your podiatrist who will find ways to relieve the ache and discomfort.
You can treat ingrown toenails at home, but they may arise to complications if done incorrectly and in the end, you end up needing medical treatment anyway. Your risk of complications is higher if you have diabetes or other conditions which cause poor circulation.
According to the National Health Services, ingrown toenails occur in both men and women, and may be more common in people with sweaty feet, such as teenagers. Older people, whose nails usually get thicker with age, are also prone to suffering ingrown toenails.
There are many causes to ingrown toenails, which can include:
- Cutting your toenails improperly;
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes (especially with a narrow box that puts pressure on your toes);
- Injury or trauma;
- Lack of foot hygiene;
- Irregularly curved toenails;
- Wearing socks of a wrong size.
There are certain sports, professions and activities that make you more prone to suffering ingrown nails. Such activities involve using the feet a lot such as kicking or “pointing” which can result to severe foot pain. Ballet, kickboxing, soccer and football are among the activities that may put one at a higher risk of ingrown toenails
Several complications may arise if an ingrown toenail goes unchecked and untreated.
People who suffer diabetes or other illnesses that restrict adequate blood flow are at a higher risk of complications brought by ingrown toenails such as foot infections, or even worse.
Having a family history of ingrown toenails may be the most agonizing. It means that you have to deal with an ingrown toenail every single time, as it still returns no matter how many times you have it removed. The excruciating pain on the toenails may hamper you from doing your normal activities. In this case, there is no other choice but to have a part of, or your entire toenail, removed (matrixectomy) to minimize chronic toe pain.
For some, an ingrown toenail doesn’t cause a painful sensation. But for others, the ache becomes even worse as it progresses especially if not treated immediately.
The earliest symptoms of ingrown toenails can already be felt or seen. Tender, swollen or hardened skin located next to the affected toenail is a possible indication. You may also feel sharp pain when pressure is placed over your toe. Or, you can see fluid building up around your toe.
Suppose you fail to notice or you ignore the early signs of ingrown toenail, it can lead to worse symptoms such as inflamed skin, persistent pain, blood or pus oozing out of the toenails, or growth of “extra” skin overlapping around the toe.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you:
- Experience severe pain or discomfort in your toe.
- Severe redness and swelling.
- Pus that’s draining or spreading.
- Have diabetes or any other illness that prevents proper blood circulation to your feet, which leads to pain and infection.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can be prevented by making several lifestyle changes:
- Trim your toenails straight across.
- Do not trim the toenails too short.
- Keep toenails at a moderate length.
- Wear shoes and footwear that fit properly.
- Prevent trauma to the toe area as much as possible.
- Check your feet.
- For women in particular – when getting a pedicure, make sure you go to a well-trained manicurist/pedicurist. Some pedicurists or nail technicians tend to cut the nails a bit too extremely, which can cause toenail ingrown.
- In case your toenail has grown unnaturally thick or curved, you may opt for surgery to avoid an ingrown toenail.
Here are some products that could help in preventing and dealing with ingrown toenails:
A toenail brace gets rid of ingrown toenails by correcting excessive nail curvature. Bracing is a very safe and inexpensive treatment option which can use for a very long period of time. The toenail brace is a composite strip applied across your toenails.
This is the most popular product on the market today for treating ingrown toenails because it takes a modern approach to treat ingrown nails. It is a unique product which eliminates ingrown nails in just a day or two no matter how long you’ve been suffering from it. The strip behaves like a spring so when it’s bonded to the curved surface of your nails it applies a gentle force which helps straighten the nail.
This CurveCorrect Toenail kit includes:
- Solvent (3.7 mL)
- Cotton swabs
- Plastic case
- Application instructions
- Medical grade, non-toxic brace adhesive (1.0 mL)
- 10 transparent braces per kit
- Nail file
The custom-contoured body of the scissors is designed for comfortable maneuvering. Sharp, ultra-thin precision blades allow each hair to be isolated with accuracy and control. The relieve hands of ragged hangnails with the thin precision tips which are designed to help maintain healthy hands. Plus, its extra-sharp curved blades keep cuticles neat and tidy for consistent quality nail care and a well-groomed look.
This nail file is made of high-quality stainless steel, and one side is curved while the other side is straight. It also helps prevent future ingrown.
This straightening clip helps in reducing pain and also eliminates redness. It is attached to the surface of the nail so it can produce upward rebound pull, which will be embedded in the flesh of the nail was slowly pulled out, making the nail healthy grow and also allows the nail to return to a normal curvature, and no longer embedded in the meat.
Ingrown toenails can be uncomfortable, but as there are various ways to treat it. As long as you take care of your toes and use the treatment properly, the odds of infection are low.