What are Ingrown Toenails?
Ingrown toenails (Onychocryptosis) are toenails that have pierced the skin or are pressing against the adjacent skin of the toe causing pain, inflammation and sometimes infection. Initial symptoms include minor discomfort and inflammation, usually after the nail pierces the skin of the toe.
A relatively common condition, ingrown toenails can result from poorly fitted shoes, trauma, hereditary and inherited conditions, nail picking and incorrect nail trimming. Once the nail has pierced the skin, infection can occur quickly, both under the nail and in surrounding areas. This will be evidenced by swelling, redness and discharge. In addition, pain will increase, often making it difficult to walk or wear enclosed shoes.
The two main types of ingrown toenails we see are:
1. Nails which curl or turn in at the side, causing pressure and sometime a corn down the side of the nail. These ingrown nails are very painful but are easy for us to manage conservatively using the non-surgical treatment option.
2. Nails which are penetrating through the skin, causing a bacterial infection as well as weeping, swelling, redness and sometimes pus. These types of ingrown nails MUST be treated immediately to reduce the pain and prevent major infections.