Ingrown toenails are a common nail impairment caused when the nail begins to cut into and embed itself painfully into the toe. Some symptoms of this affliction include pain along the margins of the nail, and a sensitivity to pressure along the nail, even slight pressures such as socks or bedsheets. This sensitivity can develop into an excruciating pain that occurs whenever the affected area is bumped or has pressure on it. The injury can also easily become infected, and when diabetes is an issue, this infection could easily spiral into a situation in which the toe must be amputated or even the whole foot.
Some common causes of ingrown toenails are bad nail care, ill-fitting shoes, any kind of injury to the toe, a genetic complication or bacterial infection. When looking at the list above one can easily see that it is hard to avoid genetic predispositions, and toe injuries happen from time to time, but proper nail care and proper footwear are simple steps that anyone can take to ensure that they do not get affected by an ingrown toenail.
When it comes to proper nail care, cutting the nails too short can become a problem. Also, the cutting implement used can become a factor. The angle at which the nail is cut affects which direction the nail begins to grow again. So, if the nail is constantly cut in a manner that is not straight across and at an incorrect angle, the nail will naturally tend to curve either upwards or into the flesh of the toe. When cutting one’s nails, the cut must be even on both the top and bottom of the nail and not rounded off at the tip. When it comes to footwear, it is imperative that one wear shoes that are comfortable and do not cause bunching of the toes.
When it comes to treating an ingrown toenail, the severity of the injury becomes paramount. Should the toenail be caught in its early stages the affliction can be treated with simple warm water soaks and antibacterial ointment.