Ingrown toenail is a condition when the nail instead of growing outward starts growing inward and gets into the skin.
This can happen at any age. This can happen in any nail but found to be most common with toenail. When the nail starts growing into the toe, it can be painful and tender. It will give rise to a swelling and the surrounding area becomes inflamed and the infection can set in.
There are several causes for this but the most common ones are improper cutting and picking of the nail, abnormal curvature of the nail, poor fitting of the shoes and injury to the toe during any outdoor sports.
Cutting of nails properly and the use of proper fitting of shoes have to be ensured. Nail clipper needs to be used to cut the nail instead of a pair of scissors. The nail has to be cut straight across and not in a rounded shape. The toenails are to be cut often to ensure that they have not grown long enough to break. A long nail can break during play or it can get caught while wearing socks and break. The part of the nail that is left may be too short and it can start growing in the side of the toe instead of straight out.
Toenails should never be cut too short. A little of the white area at the end of the toenail is to be left and the edges can be filed to so that they are not sharp. Proper fitting of the shoe is to be ensured. Narrow and tight shoes can cause the nails to curve and get into the flesh. For growing children, the shoes become tight within no time as their feet are also growing. It is necessary to check this periodically to ensure proper fitment.It is necessary to prevent injury to the toe to avoid ingrown toenail. Injuries to the toe can be prevented by wearing shoes at the time of work or play.
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