Ingrown Toenails

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ingrown nailswhen the nail grows into the flesh instead of over it

usually affect the toenails, particularly the big toe. Dr. Edward Hill tells us about this condition and some ways it can be prevented in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A damaged or improperly trimmed nail can become ingrown, burrowing into the skin at the side of the nail bed. The site can become painful and infected and may not heal until the nail is removed.

Ingrown nails are most frequently caused by cutting your toenails too short, rounding the nail edges, or by wearing ill-fitting shoes. You can also develop an ingrown nail after an injury such as stubbing your toe.

If the condition causing the ingrown toenail continues, overgrowth of the tissue over the nail can lead to permanent changes in the tissue that can cause infection, pain and swelling.

Proper grooming is the first step in preventing ingrown nails. Always cut the nail straight across using nail clippers, and leave enough nail to cover the toe to protect it. Smooth sharp edges with an emery board. Also, wear socks and shoes that fit properly.

Seek help from a healthcare professional if home management techniques do not relieve your symptoms or if the nail becomes infected.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.