Also known as
incarnatus, ingrown nail, an ingrown toenail is
a painful condition which occurs when part of
the nail (usually a sharp corner) grows into the
skin surrounding the nail.
People of any age
can develop ingrown toenails, although it's much
more common in adults. Any toe can be affected,
however, ingrown nails occur most often in the
big toe. Finger nails can also be affected, but
this is much less common than with the toe
Hereditary-Some people are more prone than
others to have toenails that tend to grow
inwards. Wide nail plates or curved nail
plates can make individuals more
cutting-Nails should be cut straight, not curved
to reduce the chances of ingrown toenails.
Unsuitable footwear-That is too tight, especially
around the toes.
Pain, inflammation & redness on the affected toe.
Pain may worsen when wearing tight footwear or when
pressure is applied to the toe.
Yellowish discharge may ooze from the affected area.
This is a sign the toe has become infected.
Mild cases (which
haven't become infected) may be treatable at
home and would include;
affected area in warm water with Epsom salts four times a
day. Dry thoroughly and apply antiseptic to the area.
the area with clean hands, this can help to reduce inflammation.
Do not wear
high heels or tight fitting shoes until the condition clears up.
Wear open toed sandals where possible.
Take over the
counter pain medications to relieve discomfort.
If the above methods
don't result in an improvement, see your doctor or podiatrist.
Severe cases will
require medical attention. Treatment may include;
Surgical removal of
a thin part of the nail plate (partial nail avulsion), under local
anaesthetic. When removed, some podiatrists apply a chemical to or
remove the nail bed/root to prevent re-growth and recurrence of the
The toe will then be
dressed in a bandage or gauze to protect it.
Your doctor may
prescribe oral or topical antibiotics if the toe is infected.
Avoid tight fitting
When cutting the toenails, cut
in a straight line, not in a curve. Don't cut the nails too short.