In-growing toenails: symptoms and treatment

Many people are affected by in-growing toenails, with teenagers and the elderly being the highest risk groups. In-grown nails occur when the nail cuts into the skin next to it. This can be painful and lead to infection. If you suffer from persistent pain, please consult your doctor for advice.

If in-grown toenails are caught early it is possible to fix the problem yourself - but if they are left too long they can lead to infection. If you notice that the nail is getting more painful, or if the skin is swelling up or becoming inflamed, it can be a sign of infection and a course of antibiotics could be required.

If the problem persists, surgery could be required to remove part of the nail. This is known as a partial nail avulsion and it is the most common surgical procedure used to treat in-grown nails. Partial nail avulsion is around 98% effective.

Sometimes it is recommended that the whole nail be removed. This procedure is known as total nail avulsion. Some people worry about not having a nail on their toe, but other than the cosmetic difference there are no major effects.

The best way to avoid in-growing toenails is to ensure that you keep your feet dry, you cut your nails straight and not too short, and you wear good fitting shoes. While there is no one definitive cause of in-growing toenails, by following these three pieces of advice you will significantly reduce your chances of being affected by them.

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