Getting a bit overzealous trimming your toenails can lead to the unpleasantness of an impacted or ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis), which occurs when the edge of the nail grows directly into the surrounding tissue of the toe, causing pain and discomfort.
Ingrown toenails often occur when toenails are improperly trimmed, leaving the nail plate too far from its proper edge. This tender skin becomes inflamed, and pressure on the toe from shoes becomes painful.
Other causes include:
You can first spot an ingrown toenail directly after trimming your toenails. If the toenail looks like it has been cut back too far, exposing the pink tissue around the edge, you may have an ingrown toenail. Over time, you may develop a feeling of discomfort and tenderness, and the tissue around the edge may become red and swollen. As the ingrown toenail continues to grow into the surrounding tissue, pain becomes more pronounced, making walking and even sitting difficult.
People suffering from an ingrown toenail may also notice the following:
The simplest way to eliminate an ingrown toenail is to take extra care when cutting your toenails:
Also try following these suggestions to take care of an ingrown toenail, or to avoid developing one in the future:
Remember: Don't make ingrown toenails worse in an attempt to make them better. As the nail begins to cut into the skin, many people try to correct the situation by cutting away the extended nail; yet this only exacerbates the situation, leading to even deeper imbedding of the ingrown toenail into the tender flesh. "Bathroom surgery" is definitely not the way to correct an ingrown toenail.
If the problem persists, see a podiatrist to have the offending edges removed.
This information on foot, leg and lower body health conditions is provided by The Podiatry Institute, dedicated to advancing the standard of care in podiatric medicine and its effects on musculoskeletal health. The Podiatry Institute does not endorse a specific treatment, product, or therapy. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your health care provider on all matters relating to this or any other condition that may affect your health.
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