Ingrown Toe Nail
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Ingrown Toe Nail

An ingrown toenail is a painful condition that usually occurs when the side of the toenails start to grow in the surrounding skin tissues. It results in bleeding, infection, redness, swelling, tenderness, and inflammation, because the toenail grows on the soft tissues or in the flesh surrounding the toenail, or when the nail curls and pierces the skin.

Fungal nail infection worsens this condition and makes the toenail to widen and thicken. Dr. Niti Gaur, one of the Best Dermatologists in Gurgaon says - if not provided with proper medical care can cause severe pain and infection. A dermatologist can help to avoid the complications caused by ingrown toenails. 

People with diabetes and other severe health conditions can have a complication in their blood flow around their feet. Diabetes can affect toenail healing capacity; in such a case or condition, the patient must seek early medical assistance. Diabetic people are also at a higher risk to develop or suffer from ingrown toenails. 

Following are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail
  • Pain, redness, inflammation, and tenderness in the toe and the surrounding toenail area
  • Edema in the toe area
  • Infection and bleeding in the skin tissue present around the toenail
  • Hypertrophy (skin overgrowth) in the affected toe area
  • Pus (yellow or white) coming out from the infected area

So, if someone is facing any of these symptoms, they must consult the best dermatologist in Gurgaon without any delay. 

What are the conditions that can cause ingrown toenails?
  • Not correctly cutting the toenails (cutting the toenail edges and cutting the toenails very short). This encourages the nail to grow into the skin and also causes skin folding over the nail
  • Injury to the toenail
  • Irregular, curved toenails
  • Wearing tight shoes (shoes that are too narrow, or flat for the feet) and footwear that cause pressure on the toenails
  • Lack of foot hygiene (not keeping the feet dry and clean)
  • Sweaty feet make the toenail skin soft, and this makes it easy for the nail to pierce and embed itself inside the skin

People with ingrown nails must not pick their toes and toenails or try to cut the toenail. They may let it grow out. Ingrown toenails can cause pain, fever, difficulty in walking, and perform other activities. It can also lead to further infection. 

Treatment available for ingrown toenails

  • Over the counter medications, antibiotics, and to prevent infection.
  • Left untreated ingrown nails can become infected, and surgery is recommended to improve the toenail condition. The dermatologist depending upon the severity of the condition and symptoms may remove some part or all part of the toenail.

Ways to prevent ingrown toenails

  • Change socks regularly and always wear cotton socks
  • Wear comfortable shoes and keep the feet and nails clean by washing them regularly with water and antimicrobial soap, then dry them thoroughly, and apply foot moisturizer
  • Toenails must be cut properly (straight across manner), this prevents them from digging into the surrounding skin tissues

If someone suspects ingrown toenails, they must keep it dry to prevent infection, and visit the best skin clinic in Gurgaon to receive medical aid.

Types of toenail correction surgery

1. Total Nail Avulsion

In this method, the entire toenail and the underlying nail bed is removed. It is performed when the nail has become thick or distorted and is pressing the surrounding toe skin. Removing toenail is completely safe, and there will be an indentation in the toenail area. The toe is wrapped with sterile bandages to provide protection from infection and stop bleeding. The patient must give rest to their foot, and keep it raised for 24 to 48 hours after the operation. Painkiller is provided to reduce pain.

2. Partial Nail Avulsion

This procedure is very much effective in treating ingrown toenails, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the area, and toenail edges are removed to make it narrower. The puss is also drained, and phenol or laser is applied in the affected area. This prevents the nail from becoming ingrown toenail in the future. The antibiotics are also prescribed if the nail is infected, and the treatment area is bandaged. The patient must take proper rest to promote early healing. 

After the surgical treatment, the patient needs to wear soft and spacious footwear and open-toed sandals.

After some time, the nails grow back. The doctor places a cotton piece on the nail, and it helps in preventing the nails from digging into the skin again.

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