Ingrown Toenails

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    Quite frequently people suffer from an ingrown toenail, which is very unpleasant and quite painful.. Most often, ingrown toenails appear on the big toe. And this disease occurs on other toes and even more so on the hands in rare cases. This disease has a medical name – onychocryptosis. The main symptom is pain in the foot and ankle when walking.

    The treatment of the malfuntion can lead to the development of purulent inflammation of the phalanges of the toe, as well as to necrosis and even amputation. This can be done by cutting off an ingrown nail and getting the wound on the foot infected.

    Symptoms and Causes

    There are three stages of this disease:

    • Puffiness, throbbing and pressing pain in the area around the nail fold.
    • The beginning of the process of suppuration, which may be accompanied by the separation of the nail from the nail bed. At the same time, inflammatory and infectious processes begin.
    • Hypergranulation, expressed as a symptom of tissue proliferation around the nail fold. At this time, a chronic form occurs, characterized by a tumor, continuous pain.

    The causes include:

    • Congenital predisposition;
    • Metabolic disorders;
    • Fungus of the nail;
    • Injury of the nail plate, phalanx of the ankle;
    • Age;
    • Various foot and ankle deformities.


    Identifying an ingrown toenail is easy. A complex of clinical trials is assigned to a patient in order to exclude complications of the underlying disease. If surgical treatment is planned, then the test results allow to establish possible contraindications. In order to diagnose an ingrown toenail, the surgeon needs:

    • Visual examination. The characteristic appearance of the foot, the presence of predisposing anatomical features, signs of inflammation, bleeding or pus discharge allows one to make a diagnosis and determine the severity of the process. Complex treatment is selected taking into account the width of the bed and other external signs.
    • X-ray examination. 

    Treatment Options

    There are several treatment methods for ingrown toenails. Each of them is complex in its own way and has certain pain thresholds, as well as the duration of the course and effectiveness.

    • Surgical treatment. With this method, a mini operation is performed, during which an ingrown toenail is removed;
    • Conservative method;
    • Non-surgical treatment using staples, plates. 

    The purpose of traditional treatment is to stop purulent-inflammatory processes and reduce the intensity of aching in the ingrown nails. An experienced doctor has to determine the treatment at its earliest to avoid the severe progression of ingrown toenails.

    To do this, use hot foot baths for ingrown nails with potassium permanganate herbal infusions, lotions with antiseptic solutions and antimicrobial drugs in the treatment on your own.

    Ingrown nail surgery is applied if the above-mentioned ways are ineffective and do not work for ingrown toenails. There is a range of treatment practices such as operational excision with a scalpel, use of a laser, and radio wave therapy. 

    The principle of orthopedic methods is to gradually unbend and form the correct shape of the ingrown nail plate. For orthopedic treatment, custom made metal springs or braces are used that are identical to braces. The practice shows that the correcting an ingrown nail with plates has been applied in multiple cases of ingrown toenails.

    Among all the methods of treatment, the laser treatment procedure shows the best result (low probability of recurrence). This is a high-tech method that allows for bloodless, non-contact and almost painless correction of the nail plate without complete removal, to achieve stable remission with a minimum risk of relapse. 

    Written by Touch of Health Posted on May 25, 2021

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