Onchocryptosis – (Ingrowing toenail).
An ingrown toenail (or onychocryptosis) is where the side of the toenail cuts into the skin next to the nail. This can become painful as the skin may become inflamed and infected. It is often the big toe that is affected, though it can occur in the other toes. Ingrown toenails can occur at any age, but more commonly, teenagers and young adults present with this problem. There are a number of causes for ingrown toenails, these include, narrow fitting footwear, poor nail cutting technique and a nail with curved edges, rather than a flat nail.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail ?
The symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include pain, redness, swelling and sometimes pus, if an infection is present.
What should I do ?
If you have an ingrown toenail then you should arrange a podiatry appointment as soon as possible
Podiatry Treatment Initial treatment of an ingrowing toenail sometimes necessitates the use of ‘Oral antibiotics’ ( prescribed to treat an established infection around the ingrowing nail. However it must be noted that there is not a lot success by just treating the infection, patricularly if the cause (the ingrown nail) is allowed to remain. Sometimes antibiotics are used to help the infection clear once the nail has been removed.
Less commonly, antibiotics are required in the first instance.
A podiatrist can easily remove the corner of the nail or nail spike that has penetrated the skin, often with little or no discomfort. If the ingrown nail is very painful, a local anaesthetic may be needed to do this. Unless the portion of nail that is causing the ingrown toe nail is removed, the infection is likely to persist and probably escalate.
After the offending portion of nail is removed, all that is needed to clear up the infection is an antiseptic dressing for a few days, especially if you are healthy and have no healing problems. If you experience problems with wound healing, your circulation maybe impaired or if you have diabetes, antibiotics &/or a prolonged period of dressings may be required.
Ongoing treatment of the ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toe nails can often reoccur. The most common reason for an Ingrown toe nail to occur in the first place is the shape of the nail (curved down the side). With good advice on self treatment from your podiatrist, it may be possible to prevent it reoccurring.
Regular podiatry treatment is sometimes needed to prevent the nail ingrowing again. Your podiatrist will discuss possible management options with you.
Surgical treatment of the Ingrown toe nail:
Minor surgical intervention, is used if the ingrowing nail is severe, if conservative care is difficult, or if the ingrown toenail does not respond well to conservative treatment. Nail surgery is a relatively simple procedure and is a permanent solution to the problem.
There is usually little or no visual impairment to the nail as a result of nail surgery.
There are a few different minor surgical procedures that can be utilised by a podiatrist to treat an ingrown toe nail. These can all be performed in the treatment room under a local anaesthetic.