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My big toe has an ingrown nail, what do I do?

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Ingrown toe nails can be a very painful condition that can affect daily activities. Ingrown toe nails can also become infected secondary to the ingrown nail. An infected ingrown toe nail termed “Paronychia” can cause severe pain along with redness and drainage to the site. As soon as you see a toe nail start to develop these symptoms you should see a podiatrist immediately for treatment. Ingrown toe nails can be caused by a multitude of reasons, some of which are listed below.

 

Causes:

  1. Incorrectly fitted shoe gear which compresses the toes
  2. Incorrect nail care
  3. Trauma to the nail
  4. Genetics
  5. Deformity to the underlying bone
  6. Bacterial infection
  7. Predisposition of the nail bed
  8. Overgrowth of skin
  9. Disease to the nail bed
  10. Excess moisture to the nail bed

 

 

Signs and Symptoms of Paronychia                                                                                             

 

  1. Increase warmth
  2. Purulence or drainage
  3. Redness
  4. Pain on palpation
  5. Swelling
  6. Detachment of the nail

 

If you experience any of these symptoms for a painful ingrown nail or paronychia, you should get it checked out by a podiatrist. Treatment includes wedge resection of the affected nail, nail avulsion of the border or entire nail, or matrixectomy of the border of the nail. Many times ingrown nails can be chronic and reoccur, in this case a phenol matrixectomy can be performed to prevent the border of the nail from ever growing back.  Daily epson salt soaks can be beneficial along with an antibiotic in severe cases of paronychia. Don’t let a painful ingrown nail affect your daily life.

 

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