September 15, 2021 2 min read

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

From all the problems in the world, how can my toe give me so much pain? Well, it is almost like an accumulative effort of poor footwear choices with a hint of genetics that brought you to this nagging pain down your nail. An ingrown toenail can be painful and in worse cases become infected without the appropriate treatment. This condition can occur on any of the toes in which it is most commonly seen on the big toe on either side cause inflammation and/or infection. Another common cause of developing this condition is from the incorrect cutting of the nail, trauma caused to the nail or altered biomechanics which simply means a change in the structure of your foot that causes more force through certain parts of the foot that can cause an excessive build-up in hard skin or nail deformation.

In this instance what can one expect to do when faced with this problem?

For many, conservative treatment includes visiting a Podiatrist who specialises in dealing with this kind of issue with medical grade equipment that is designed to leave the nails in better shape to avoid inappropriate growth of the nails down the sides. In some cases where a patient is eligible for “Partial Nail Avulsion” which simply is a minor surgery that a Podiatrist can perform to remove the affecting nail and apply a liquid known as Phenol which is left on the base of the nail bed for a set time to prevent the nail from growing out in the future. This allows the skin folds on either side to close up the gap left from the surgery and free up some space where the original nail was causing pain and/or infection. Some cases the Podiatrist may suggest removing the nail together which is otherwise known as a Total Nail Avulsion that may relieve some patients of their complications all together depending on the needs of the patient. Recovery from these procedures vary from person to person but 4-8 weeks following this procedure has most people back to a completely healed toe and rocking those thongs for summer.

If you’re experiencing pain in any of your toes or noticed something is not right when you’re walking or running, it may be worth having your local Podiatrist to have a look at it to see what they can do for you in regards to its treatment.

Have a chat with your Podiatrist next time you see them about the Ingrown Toenail treatment if your nails aren’t looking right. 

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