Ingrown toenails can even cause poor posture! How to prevent and fix the problem?
An ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, is a rather painful and, alas, a common disease: according to statistics, 50% of the world's inhabitants are susceptible to it.
Why is an ingrown toenail dangerous?
The nail plate of the toe (most often the big one) gradually grows into the soft tissues, which causes them to become inflamed, causing discomfort when walking. If the problem is not noticed in time, it is fraught with purulent inflammation and even overgrowth of soft tissues.
At the initial stage, when it is still possible to cope with the ingrowth of the nail on its own, it is important to pay attention to the following symptoms: redness and swelling of the nail fold, the appearance of sores and mild pain when walking. You need to see a doctor immediately if you feel throbbing pain, which intensifies when you press on your finger and walk. At this stage, the edema becomes pronounced, the finger swells, and pus begins to stand out from under the nail plate.
Why do nails grow in?
There are several reasons for nail ingrowth, moreover, they are quite often combined. Here are the most common ones.
- Genetic predisposition. In some people, the nail plate naturally has a rounded shape, which is more prone to ingrowth than flat.
- Inappropriate footwear. Too narrow toes of shoes and boots, combined with high heels, negatively affect the health of the entire foot and toes in particular.
- Being overweight puts extra stress on your toes.
- Improper care. Although the nails grow much more slowly on the feet than on the hands, this does not mean that you can take less care of them. Nails must be periodically trimmed and filed, but not at the root, leaving the corners square.
- Poor posture and gait, foot injuries.
- Poor hygiene, fungal nail diseases.
The problem can be triggered by an incorrect nail wash down during a pedicure. If you are prone to this disease, ask the nail technician not to cut the corners of the nail too much, to give them a square shape instead of a round one.
How to treat an ingrown toenail?
- Folk remedies will help
Traditional methods of treating an ingrown toenail are effective in the early stages of the disease. If there is no pus yet, but you are already experiencing discomfort, take urgent action!
Prepare a hot sea salt bath and steam your sore thumb thoroughly. Sea salt has a good disinfecting and wound healing effect. When the skin becomes soft, gently cut off the rough skin and sharp edges of the nail using nail scissors. Then melt the natural beeswax, add a few drops of propolis tincture and dip your finger into the still liquid wax. Wrap the top with sterile gauze and put on new cotton socks. You need to repeat the procedure every day until there is an improvement. If, despite all your efforts, the disease progresses, immediately consult a doctor!
- Conservative treatment
In untreated cases, surgery can be avoided. Conservative treatment is as follows: the nail plate is steamed in a hot bath with an antiseptic solution, then a bandage is applied with an anti-inflammatory ointment.When the nail softens, special devices (plates, springs or staples) are put on it, which help to straighten the nail plate. As a result, the deformed nail rises and the inflammation subsides.
If this method of treatment is ineffective and the disease progresses to the second or third stage (suppuration has begun), the surgeon decides on surgery.
- Important!If the ingrowth of the nail has occurred due to a fungal infection, then for a complete recovery it is necessary, first of all, to get rid of the fungus, otherwise the disease will recur.
- Surgical intervention
The first surgery to treat an ingrown toenail was performed over 100 years ago. Fortunately, medicine now has more gentle ways to treat this disease, but in some cases, surgery cannot be avoided. During the operation, which is performed under anesthesia, part of the nail bed and the nail plate are excised.
The area of the operation largely depends on the extent of the spread of the inflammation. The sooner you see a doctor, the more likely it is that the operation can be avoided or it will be less traumatic.
- Treatment of an ingrown nail with a laser
A laser will help with repetitive nail ingrowth. The edge of the nail plate processed by it will not grow, which means that ingrowth will no longer occur. The laser is widely used not only for prophylaxis, but also for effective treatment. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and takes only a few minutes, regardless of the severity of the case. Then an aseptic bandage is applied to the finger, which the doctor will have to change several times. Full recovery occurs three weeks after treatment.
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