It is an often painful condition in which the nail grows so that it cuts into one or both sides of the paronychium or nail bed. The condition starts from a microbial inflammation and then a granuloma. Symptoms of an ingrown nail include pain along the margins of the nail worsening of pain when wearing tight footwear, and sensitivity to pressure of any kind, even the weight of bedsheets. Bumping of an affected toe can produce sharp and even excruciating pain as the tissue is punctured further by the nail. Ingrown nails become easily infected unless special care is taken early to treat the condition by keeping the area clean. Signs of infection include redness and swelling of the area around the nail, drainage of pus, and watery discharge tinged with blood. The main symptom is swelling at the base of the nail on the side the nail is ingrowing (may be both sides).
Causes may include:
Shoes causing a bunching of the toes in the developmental stages of the foot (frequently in people under 21), which can cause the nail to curl and dig into the skin. This is particularly the case in ill-fitting shoes that are too narrow or too short, but any toed shoes may cause an ingrown nail.
- Poor nail-care, including cutting the nail too short, rounded off at the tip or peeled off at the edges instead of being cut straight across, or breaking a toenail.
- Trauma to the nail plate or toe, which can occur by stubbing the toenail, dropping things on the toe or going through the end of the shoes (as during sports or other vigorous activity), can cause the flesh to become injured and the nail to grow irregularly and press into the flesh
- Predisposition, such as abnormally shaped nail beds, nail deformities caused by diseases, or a genetic susceptibility increases the chance of an ingrown nail, but the ingrowth cannot occur without pressure from a shoe.
- A bacterial infection.
Treatment offered at Claro-
- Medical line of management – to relieve pain and control secondary infection
- Active management- Nail avulsion (nail removal) in severe cases.