Ingrown Toenail


An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows down and into the skin of the toe. There may be pain, redness, and swelling around the nail.

Alternative Names
Onychocryptosis; Unguis incarnatus; Nail avlusion; Matrix excision

Causes
An ingrown toenail can result from a number of things, but poorly fitting shoes and toenails that are not trimmed properly are the most common causes. The skin along the edige of a toenail may become red and infected. The great toe is usually affected, but any toenail can become ingrown.
Ingrown toenails may occur when extra pressure is placed on your toe. Most commonly, this pressure is caused by shoes that are too tight or too loose. If you walk often or participate in athletics, a shoe that is even a little tight can cause this problem. Some deformities of the foot or toes can also place extra pressure on the toe.
Nails that are not trimmed properly can also cause ingrown toenails.When your toenails are trimmed too short or the edges are rounded rather than cut straight across, the nail may curl downward and grow into the skin.
Poor eyesight and physical inability to reach the toe easily, as well as having thick nails, can make improper trimming of the nails more likely
Picking or tearing at the corners of the nails can also cause an ingrown toenail
Some people are born with nails that are curved and tend to grow downward. Others have toenails that are too large for their toes. Stubbing your toe or other injuries can also lead to an ingrown toenail.

Prevention
Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that you wear every day should have plenty of room around your toes. Shoes that you wear for walking briskly or for running should have plenty of room also, but not be too loose.
When trimming your toenails:
Considering briefly soaking your foot in warm water to soften the nail
Use a clean, sharp nail trimmer
Trim toenails straight across the top. Do not taper or round the corners or trim too short
Do not pick or tear at the nails
Keep the feet clean and dry. People with diabetes should have routine foot exams and nail care.