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Ingrown toenail (Onychocryptosis)

What is an ingrown toenail?

Onychocryptosis, known as an ingrown toenail, happens when the side or corner of the nail grows inside the fold of skin around it. It most often affects the big toe.

Why does the nail get stuck?

The nail can become ingrown for multiple causes. Most of the time because of wrong cuts (rounded cuts in the toenails), which allows a sharp area to come into contact with the crease of the nail.  We have nail changes that can cause the painting, such as tweezers nails, and the use of some medications.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

Symptoms include pain, redness, and swelling where the nail has developed into the flesh. When this flesh (the nail fold) becomes very inflamed and grows, what is popularly known as spongy flesh, the severity of the condition increases and the affected finger can become infected.  

What can I do at home if I have an ingrown toenail?

When we have an initial picture, with no growth of "spongy flesh" and without much inflammation or pus, we can try to improve by doing the following at home:

  • Place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the nail to take the pressure off the toe.

  • Soak your foot in warm soapy water.  Do this for 10-20 minutes, 2-3 times a day, for 1-2 weeks.  


Should I consult a podiatrist?

In early cases of ingrown toenails, the podiatrist may try to perform maneuvers and use orthotics or appliances to treat the problem.  

Should I see a dermatologist?

When the pain is very severe, infection (sometimes pus) appears, swelling, or a lot of skin growth around the nails. Also if the conservative treatments you tried on your own or performed by the podiatrist don't help.

What is ingrown toenail surgery?

See my article on ingrown toenail surgery.

How can I avoid ingrown toenails?

You can reduce your chances of getting an ingrown toenail by:

  • Wearing shoes that are not too tight on the toes

  • Cutting your toenails straight and not too short

  • Avoiding messing with the cuticles and the skin around the nail due to the risk of infections, known as "steaking".

Would you like to schedule an assessment? Click the button below to schedule by WhatsApp (21) 99218-9718.

Unha Encravada (Onicocriptose)
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