Did you get a bit carried away last time you cut your toenails? Are you suffering from an ingrown toenail poking into the skin on the sides of your toe? The trouble with ingrown nails is that they can really slow you down and stop you doing exercise. It hurts when you are wearing shoes; even the slightest bit of pressure on your nail sends you into fits of pain. It stops you from lacing up to go for a run or playing sport as you are worried someone will stand on it. So you end up sitting things out, instead of getting out there and doing the things you enjoy.
What is an ingrown toenail?An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides of your nail grow into the skin, instead of on top of it. This tends to happen on the big toe but can happen on any finger or toenail. They can lead to infection, and an infected ingrown nail may be painful, red and swollen.
Teenagers and ingrown toenails
Are your teens complaining of ingrown toenails? This can happen with growing teens as their shoes get tighter, and nails thicken. Poor nail cutting technique can lead to ingrown nails – so they need to be careful when they give their toenails a trim.
5 common causes of ingrown toenails:
- Incorrect nail cutting technique
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes and socks
- Shoes are too tight and pressing down on your nail
- Stubbing or injuring your toe
- Kicking techniques in sports
Ingrown toenail treatment
It is important to get these fixed quickly as they can lead to severe pain, infection or sometimes surgery. Attending to them early means you can get back out there playing sport and doing the things you love. So, come and talk to one of our Christchurch podiatrists. Find a solution for ingrown toenails, get feet back in fitting form, and learn from the experts how to avoid future ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenail podiatrist appointments usually have 5 steps:
One – Discovery – During your first appointment (which is 20 minutes long) we will take a history and get to know more about you, your activities, your shoes and nail cutting techniques.
Two – Physical exam – Then we evaluate your nails and any areas of pain.
Three – Checking your gear – We evaluate your footwear. We look to see if they are too small or are being compressed or deformed in such a way that they could be causing you pain.
Four – Treatment plan – Depending on the severity and the cause we will come up with a plan for you and work towards getting you pain-free and back to optimal fitness. This could simply be advice regarding cutting techniques or advice around your shoes. During this phase, we will also provide you with tips to support your recovery at home.
Five – Treatment – This is where we treat your ingrown toenail. The treatment could include cleaning, cutting, draining pus, surgery or nail removal. This treatment plan will vary from case to case.
What about follow up?
Depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail you may need one or two follow up appointments a week or so after the initial treatment.
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