Ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a toenail or fingernail pushes into the flesh around the nail and causes a painful or even infected lesion. What to do ? How to treat it? Should I operate?
A nail, of the hand or of the toes (foot) is ingrown when it goes into the skin that surrounds the nail. The tissues become red and swollen. Is that bad ? How to treat an ingrown toenail? Can an ingrown toenail go away on its own? How to simply remove it? With an operation? How to cut your nails so that this does not happen?
Having an ingrown toenail is a common problem that most often affects the hallux (the big toe) but it can also affect the other nails of the other toes and fingers. An ingrown nail is called when part of the nail inserts into the skin directly located around the nail.
When an infection develops, the skin pad swells more and fills with pus. The pain then becomes permanent, pulsating and intensifies. The area may also be hot. If left untreated, the bulge continues to swell and takes the form of a large, raspberry-shaped pimple (botryomycoma).
The ingrown toenail can be linked to:
“An ingrown toenail does not necessarily require a medical consultation” assures Dr. Georges Delamare, general practitioner. However, he adds that“you have to be vigilant for signs of infection and super-infection” and specifies that the fact of suffering from certain diseases predisposing to complications “must be absolutely taken into account”.
You should consult your doctor within the following days:
Your doctor can then refer you to a pedicure-podiatrist in order to receive the appropriate care.
The same day :
Dr. Delamare specifies that a “ingrown toenail does not require treatment in an emergency department”.
“If there is no sign of infection, you can overcome your ingrown toenail on your own by following a few simple instructions” explains the specialist:
Surgical treatment, performed under local anesthesia, is indicated in case of treatment failure or in case of recurrence (1). The classic intervention consists of removing the bead in order to free the nail. Surgery can also be aimed remove part of ingrown toenail which injures the skin. It is then a question of partially removing the matrix, ie the thick tissue which rests directly on the bone and extends beyond the visible nail. The matrix produces the nail and its removal is not insignificant and the healing then takes 2 to 3 weeks – the complete regrowth of the nail will take about ten months. Thus Dr. Delamare warns: “Don’t leave the programming of your intervention dragging on so as not to spoil your vacation due to incomplete healing.” This partial removal of the nail matrix is more and more frequently done chemically, with phenol, which seems to have better results but does not reduce post-operative pain and healing time.
To prevent ingrown toenails, Dr. Delamare insists on the importance of a “irreproachable nail hygiene”. Their cut must be done regularly with specific disinfected scissors, taking care not to don’t cut too short or of circular way so that the regrowth does not take place in the skin. Also make sure:
Finally, ask your doctor for advice if one of your nails seems too thick, if you notice an anomaly or if your nail has suffered a shock or any other trauma.
Thanks to Doctor Georges Delamare, general practitioner.
Source: (1) Treatments for ingrown toenails. Cochrane. April 2012.
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