Painful ingrown nails may be congenital. In this instance, they are caused by an over-curvature of the nail, or imbalance between the width of the nail plate and nail bed. An ingrown toenail can be very painful. Just as the diagnosis sounds, an ingrown toenail is a nail that grows into the area around the bed of the nail.
Toe injuries that change the nail's contour may also lead to an ingrown toenail. Toe deformities, such as a bunion that forces the big toe to lean toward the second toe, and certain footwear, such as high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes can put pressure between the nail and soft tissues. This eventually forces the nail to grow into the skin. Poor nail-care such as trimming the nail too short, rounding it at the tip or peeling the nail off at the edges can also cause an ingrown nail. It should be noted that ill-fitting shoes are the number one offender of ingrown toenails.
Surgery is often necessary to ease the pain and remove the offending nail. Only a portion of the nail may be removed. If the entire nail is affected or there is a severe nail deformity, the nail plate and matrix (the cells that grow the nail) may be completely removed. Most people experience very little pain immediately following nail surgery, and during the healing process, which lasts about two to three weeks. If bone was removed during surgery, a longer healing process should be anticipated.
At Marin Foot and Ankle Center, we can diagnose and treat your ingrown toenail. Although ingrown toenails can be extremely painful, infection can also occur. This can result in soreness & redness around the sides of the nail. Advanced ingrown toenail infections can progress further and may result in bleeding and pus.
If you are living with an ingrown toenail we will be able to remove the offending area of the nail and return you to a pain-free, walking experience. Take a moment to schedule an ingrown toenail treatment to remedy this now.