Brief Outline of Ingrown Toenail Injury
Ingrown (ingrowing) toenails can be very painful. They are the result of trauma to the toe, tight-fitting shoes, or improper grooming of the toenails. Pain and infection may result from the skin growing over the nail or the nail growing into the skin on the sides. Redness and swelling on the outside of the toe may also be noted.
Anatomy and Physiology of Ingrown Toenail
The toenail is a horny cutaneous plate, which normally grows outward away from the base of the toe. It is made up of epithelial scales developed from the stratum lucidum of the skin. If the nail is cut or broken too low, it may grow into the skin on the side of the toe, or the skin may grow over the toenail. Injury to the toe, such as stubbing the toe or even a toe fracture, can cause the toenail to grow into the skin. Tight-fitting shoes may also put pressure on the outside of the toe pressing skin into the nail and causing it to grow over the nail. When the skin grows into or over the nail, an environment develops that is ripe for infection.
Cause of Ingrown Toenail Injury
Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing the toe. Tight or improperly fitting shoes. Improper toenail grooming techniques.
Signs and Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail
Pain. Redness and swelling in the affected area. Pus or other signs of infection may be present.
Complications of Ingrown Toenail If Left Uneattended
If left unattended, an ingrown toenail may become infected and the infection may eventually involve the entire toe, or even the foot. The pain may become chronic and affect the ability to wear certain shoes. Athlete may develop a limp.
Treatment of Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenails commonly respond to treatment and repair completely. Ingrown toenails may become a recurring problem in some cases. especially if the underlying causes are not addressed. In cases where infection has set in, surgery may be required. Removal part of the toenail and the infected tissue may be required.