These doctors, how they like to scare you with big words. Don’t panic if told you have Onychocryptosis. No one dies from it, but it may affect walking and marching.
If you don’t wear shoes, you’ll never get an ingrown toenail. Fungus, yes, hookworm, possibly, tetanus from a rusty infected nail, calluses, yes, but no ingrown toenails.
The nail is forced into the margin of the toe usually by tight shoes. It often becomes infected, usually with a fungus and bacteria. Pressure causes pain while walking, with residual pain at rest.
Trimming toe nails too short changes the growth angle of the nail. Trims are best straight across, not trimming the inner or outer edges.
At an early stage, a small amount of compressed cotton may be inserted and taped under the ingrowing edge of the nail, preventing further ingrowth. After two weeks or so the nail should be growing correctly.
Occasionally a persistent ingrown nail must be surgically excised. About 1/4 inch of the numbed toenail is cut through on the side of the ingrowth. The split section is extracted with a hemostat, or similar instrument, leaving a marginal area where healthy nail can grow over a few months.
An ingrown nail often shows classic signs of infection—pain, swelling, heat, and redness. Both antifungals and antibacterials may be applied, and toe room is enlarged to prevent future problems. Growing children should have frequent evaluations of ‘toe room’.
Ingrown nails are painful and a little disabling. Why suffer; have them treated.
Col. (CA) William Goldsmith, M.D.