With summer plans, vacations and cruises, I’m encountering more “INGROWN” toenails. If the nails are trimmed too short or shaped incorrectly, this may lead to ingrown nails. This can be quite painful. What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail, referred to as onychocryptosis, is when the corner or edge of the nail embeds in the surrounding skin. The nail has sharp edges and when the nail pierces the surrounding nail fold tissue it can begin to grow into the skin. One of the first signs that something is wrong may be feeling pain at the affected site. As the sharp edges embeds into the nailfolds, it can result in significant pain, redness of the surrounding skin, inflammation, and swelling. Leaving the embedded nail to persist can result in a granuloma, a heap of vascular tissue that occurs in response to trauma. It’s how the body attempts to stop the sharp object from piercing the skin. The granuloma might look like a growth overlying the area where the nail is embedded. This condition usually occurs on the feet but certain disorders can cause this to happen to the fingernails.
HOW TO REMOVE AND PREVENT
See your Licensed Nail Technologist. Shape-wise, square would be preferred to round, although squoval (square with a bit of filing on the edge) would be ok too. Also, it is important to not cut the nail too short as that will also make it more prone to embedding. Those who suffer from ingrowns should allow their toenails to be a bit longer than is typical…Sometimes a simple clipping of the embedded section will create immediate relief or you may need to see a doctor for relief.
- Epsom salt soaks in cool water will help alleviate inflammation.
- Wear shoes where the nail doesn’t make contact with the shoe. Open toed, well-fitting sandals are ideal in summer.
- Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen can help.
- Keep the area clean and dry.
- Do not try to dig into the nail fold with tools or to perform a home surgery.
To keep the look, get regular care by a professional Nail Technologist.