An ingrown toenail is caused when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the toe or swelling at the end of the toe causes the nail to put pressure on the soft tissue which causes pain and swelling. Sometimes this can become infected causing drainage and may become serious and should be evaluated by your podiatrist. You should not attempt to cut any skin or remove any nail without expert advise from your podiatrist as you can make the problem worse.
There are many risk factors that can predispose a person to this common condition. Cutting your nails too short, participating in sports, diabetes, being overweight, or having a fungal infection of the toe can all cause ingrown toe nails. Some people are genetically prone to ingrown nails in which case as the nail grows, it grows incorrectly into the skin. Sometimes, the problem can come from wearing ill-fitting shoes which put pressure on your toes or too loose allowing your toes to jam into the front of the shoe.
If you develop pain, it is time to see your podiatrist so an exam and treatment can be done. If there is pain, drainage or any redness, see a podiatrist immediately as this may be an infection.
Treatment may include removing a portion of the nail and or nail root. This may be done under local anesthesia in the office and should take about 7days to fully heal. You may be advised to stay off your foot for a day and wear a loose fitting shoe till healed.
Take care of your feet; you have many steps to take in your life. Walking in comfort should be a priority for a lifetime of healthy living.