If you are having pain in one of your toenails, this can be caused by many things. One of these things is an ingrown toenail. So you can know what is wrong, below are some symptoms and causes of an ingrown toenail, as well as treatment options available to help you feel better.
Symptoms and Causes of Ingrown Toenails
The main symptom of an ingrown toenail is pain in your toe. You will also feel tenderness in the area. This pain may be along one side of your nail but could also be on both sides. You will also have redness and swelling around your toenail. If not taken care of, the tissue around the toenail will become infected, causing even more pain.
There are many causes of ingrown toenails with one being wearing shoes that are too small. This is because these shoes will crowd your toes. Cutting your toenails in the wrong way can also cause this problem. This could be cutting your toenails crooked or cutting them too short. If you have curved toenails you are especially susceptible to getting ingrown toenails.
To get relief from the pain you should see a podiatrist, which is a doctor that specializes in feet. If you have a slight ingrown toenail that is causing pain and redness but there is no sign of infection, such as pus, the podiatrist will lift the ingrowing toenail edge. Once lifted, they will place a split under the area, which may be cotton or dental floss. This will separate the nail from the skin underneath it. Your toenail can then grow back normally.
If you have pain, redness and pus, the doctor may remove the ingrown part of your toenail. This can be painful so the doctor may first inject your toe with an anesthetic to numb it.
If the problem is severe, such as a lot of pus, severe pain and redness, the doctor may need to remove this part of your toenail and underlying tissue. This is also known as the nail bed. The doctor will use a laser, a chemical or other type of method to do this.
If you do not visit a podiatrist to have this taken care of, the ingrown toenail will become infected. This infection can reach the underlying bone which in turn will cause a bone infection.
The podiatrist can give you much more information about ingrown toenails.