Ingrown Toenail

ingrown_toenail_1Toenails often serve as barometers of our health; they are diagnostic tools providing the initial signal of the presence or onset of systemic diseases. For example, the pitting of nails and increased nail thickness can be manifestations of psoriasis. Concavity-nails that are rounded inward instead of outward can foretell iron deficiency anemia. Some nail problems can be conservatively treated while others require partial or total removal of the nail.

Any discoloration or infection on or about the nail should be evaluated by a podiatrist. The most common nail problems include the following: ingrown toenails , fungal nails and blackened toenails.

 

 

Ingrown Toenail 

Although they can start out as a small nuisance, ingrown toenails can become a real problem if left untreated. Caused by a segment of the toenail that embeds in the skin around the nail, an ingrown toenail is characterized by pain, swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth in the affected toe. If the nail digs into the flesh around the nail and causes the skin to break, bacteria can enter, resulting in an infection. The infection can increase the level of pain in the toe and create additional problems.
While some people are prone to ingrown toenails and others are caused by improper nail trimming techniques, ingrown toenails can also be caused by trauma from repeated impact or stubbing the toe. Treatment for minor ingrown toenails can often be done in the home if you are in good health and if no infection is present. Soaking the foot to soften the skin and massaging the affected area with antibiotic ointment can loosen or soften the troublesome part of the nail.

If physician care is necessary, antibiotics may be prescribed to manage the infection and an outpatient surgery may be necessary to remove the offending nail. The nail or nail border may be removed permanently if the nail border is free of infection and the problem is chronic.  If you are in need of care for your ingrown toenail or are unsure how to properly are for your toenails, contact a podiatrist. Ingrown toenails can be a serious condition for people with impaired circulation, diabetes, or other systemic diseases.

 

 

Author: tammy gracen

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