What is an Ingrown Toenail?
An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the toenail grows into the flesh of a toe. It often occurs in the big toe.
If not treated properly, the tissue around the ingrown nail will become infected.
The most common symptoms are:
- Swelling and redness around the toenail
- Hard, swollen and tender nail
- Redness around the nail
- Pus draining from nail
What causes an Ingrown Toenail?
There are many causes. The most common causes are:
- Hereditary factors
- Poorly fitted shoes, improper nail cutting
- Unusually curved toenails
- Trauma to the nail
- Trauma to the toe
Can an Ingrown Toenail be treated?
Yes. Your foot specialist will trim the portion of the nail that has grown into the toe. If the tissue around the nail is infected, your specialist will prescribe an antibiotic.
If necessary, the foot specialist will surgically drain an infection, Surgically correct a chronic ingrown toenail or completely remove a deformed toenail so it will not grow back.
Your practitioner may also recommend resting your foot and soaking it in warm salt water.
Complications of an ingrown toenail?
If not treated properly, complications may occur. Some complications are:
- Infection, if present, may spread to foot and leg, or into the blood stream.
- Loss of nail plate from infection or inflammation of the nail bed.
- Deformity of the nail plate and/or surrounding soft tissues.
- Formation of a small benign tumour (granuloma) along the nail margin.
Can Ingrown Toenails be prevented?
Yes. Some prevention techniques are:
- Don't cut toenails too short
- Cut toenails straight across
- Wear socks and shoes that fit properly
- Don’t pick at your toenails
- Don't tear your toenails off.
We’ll get you in right away!
Ingrown toenails can be very painful. In addition, if they are not treated early, an infection can set in. Thus, we make sure that patients with ingrown toenails are seen right away. Also, diabetics with any type of infection of the foot or ankle will be seen the same day. Let our receptionists know that you have an ingrown toenail or you are diabetic and they will get you in on the same day or if you cannot make it, the next business day.
Ingrown toenails usually resolve very quickly after the ingrown portion of the nail is removed. The ingrowing portion of the nail is removed by trimming the nail corner or in some cases removing the edge of the nail back to the cuticle. Usually, a local anaesthetic is used to lessen the discomfort.
We take great pride in our ability to make taking care of an ingrown toenail a nearly painless procedure for our patients. If your toe is tender we will ensure that your toe is completely numb before taking care of the nail problem. The most common statement we hear after taking care of an ingrown toenail is “That was easy – I wish I hadn’t waited so long!”
In addition, we usually only have to remove a very small portion of the nail. Your nail will therefore usually look normal after you have healed.
If you, a friend, or a family member suffer from ingrown toenails, don’t wait to get treated. Treating them can be quick and easy. Call 613 936-8461 for an appointment and let a specialist take care of your foot and ankle problems.
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