Ingrown nails – a common problem

Ingrown foot and hand nails are a problem that affect even 75% of the population.

19.01.2017
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Ingrown foot and hand nails are a problem that affect even 75% of the population.

Usually we are the responsible – the most common causes are trimming your nails too short and round, and wearing too narrow shoes (especially toes) and too high heels. Such footwear does not leave to much space for shortly trimmed nails so, when growing, they curve and grow into the skin. The same effect is obtained when shoe toes are too flat, and consequently put pressure on the nails from the top.

Ingrown nails are not only painful but also cause swelling and infections which are usually seen as reddening.  The nail may embed only into the nail fold at the top of the toe, but it may also embed halfway or along the entire nail.

In the past, ingrown nails were treated by surgical removal of the entire nail. Luckily, today’s podology offers other less invasive and painless methods.

When only a corner of the nail is ingrown, it is enough to perform a procedure called a tamponade. It involves inserting a special gauze soaked in an anti-inflammatory fluid between the nail fold and the nail.  After several minutes the tampon is removed and the part of the nail plate growing into the skin is removed, and the edge is protected by a tube cut alongside, that restores nail’s proper growth track.

If the nail grows in because its edges are folded, you may put a BS Quick brace – a flexible band stuck on the edge of the nail, that lifts the nail plate over the entire width. When the nail grows again, the brace moves with the nail and you need to put another one. The nail usually gets to its right track after 4-5 brace replacements.  There are also other types of braces – made of aluminium wire that is attached under the nail edge where it starts growing into the body.

Nevertheless, you need to remember that if you developed inflammation around the nail, first you have to treat the nail completely, and then start to straighten the nail.

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