Patient's Complete Guide to Ingrown Nails
Overview of Ingrown Nails
If your nails grow inside the skin instead of above it, ingrown nails ( درلحمی ناخن ) happen. Mostly, toenails are affected as compared to the fingernails, especially your big toe.
Signs and Symptoms of Ingrown Nails
When the nails grow into your skin, you may experience the following symptoms:
If your ingrown nails get infected, some other symptoms will appear such as:
- Pus coming out of your toe
- Feeling hot or shivery
Causes of Ingrown Nails
Ingrown nails occur if you:
- Cut your toenails too short
- Trim improperly
- Wear tight shoes that press your nail into your toe
- Injure your toe during sport or accident
- Put repeated stress on your toes
- Family history
If your nail continuously grows inside the skin, it can lead to serious changes. The tissues in that area may be permanently changed which results in infection, more pain, and increased swelling.
You can prevent ingrown nails by proper grooming such as:
- Before cutting, soak your feet to make the nails soft.
- Always use nail clippers to cut the nail in straightway. Make sure to leave enough nails to cover the toe to protect it.
- Avoid the use of scissors, which can’t perfectly cut from the corners.
- Wear proper size socks and shoes.
- Women should avoid tight, pointed, and high-heeled shoes. These types of shoes can cause ingrown nails by pressing the toes.
- Take care of your young children's nails.
If your symptoms get worse after home remedies you have to visit the doctor.
The doctor may:
- Advise Antibiotics: Oral or topical medication may help you to get rid of your infection.
- Lift the Nail: If your problem is mild and free of infection, your doctor may use a splint to lift your nail. The doctor will change the position of the nail to help it grow above the skin.
- Remove Your Infected Nail: Your doctor may cut the area of the nail that’s growing into your skin. However, your toe will be numbed before surgery.
- Remove All of Your Infected Nail: If ingrown nails are continuously growing on the same toe or finger, your doctor may surgically remove your whole nail. it can take up to 4 months for your nail to grow back.
Treatment of Ingrown Nails | When to Consult a Doctor
Treatment of ingrown nails depends upon the severity of the condition. You can treat your ingrown nails at home if it is not infected. You can manage the symptoms by:
- Keep Feet Dry: Keep your feet dry and avoid sweat or dampness.
- Soaking Your Feet: Soak your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day. It will help to reduce swelling and tenderness.
- Lift Your Nail: Put a piece of cotton under the edge of your nail to lift it as it grows out.
- Apply Antibiotic Cream: Use topical antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage to prevent infection.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes: Avoid tight shoes and high heels. Prefer open-toed shoes or shoes which provide plenty of room in the toe.
- Take Pain Relievers: You can reduce swelling and tenderness by using medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as per the doctor’s prescription.