An ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis) develops when the sides of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The big toe is often affected, either on one or both sides. The nail curls and pierces the skin, which becomes red, swollen and tender. Pain, inflammation and a build up of fluid (oedema) in the area surrounding the toe are other possible symptoms. Hypertrophy (overgrowth of skin), bleeding and pus may also be found.
What causes an in-grown nail?
It is often caused by tight footwear or shoes that are too small. If you cut nails too short or incorrectly you may also get an in-grown nail or a swollen infected toe. Some people are more prone to in-grown nails due to the natural shape of their toenail. Cutting the nail correctly is very important – ask for advice from a Podiatrist or Foot Health Practitioner so you know how to cut your toenails correctly.
You may need a small section of the nail to be removed by a Foot Health Professional or the whole nail by a Podiatrist to relieve the condition more permanently.