Ingrown toenail is a common form of nail disease. It is an often painful condition in which the nail grow so that it cuts into one or both sides of the paronychium or nail bed. The common opinion is that the nail enters inside the paronychium but an ingrown toenail may be overgrown toe skin. The disease starts from a microbial inflammation of the surrounding skin, and the result is a nail buried inside the skin. While ingrown nails can occur in both the nails of the hand and feet, they occur most commonly with the toenails. A true ingrowing toenail is caused by the actual penetration of the flesh by a sliver of nail.
Causes may include:
Causes may include:
- Bad nail-care, including cutting the nail too short, rounded off at the tip or peeled off at the edges instead of being cut straight across.
- Ill-fitting shoes, as those that are too narrow or too short can cause bunching of the toes in the developmental stages of the foot (frequently in those under 21), causing the nail to curl and dig into the skin
- Trauma to the nail plate or toe, which can occur by stubbing the toenail, dropping things on the toe or going through the end of the shoes (as during sports or other vigorous activity), can cause the flesh to become injured and the nail to grow irregularly and press into the flesh
- Predisposition, such as abnormally shaped nail beds, nail deformities caused by diseases, or a genetic susceptibility
- Ingrown toenails may be the result of a bacterial infection, treatable with antibiotics.
The treatment of an ingrown toenail partly depends on how severe it is. In mild to moderate cases conservative treatment with warm water soaks, antibacterial ointment and using dental floss or a gutter splint to provide a tract along which the nail may grow is possible. If conservative treatment of a minor ingrown toenail does not succeed or if the ingrown toenail is severe, surgical management is required.