Ingrown Nails

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, a common and often painful condition, occur when the edges or corners of a toenail grow into the surrounding skin, rather than upward. They can affect any toe but are most frequently found on the big toe. Ingrown toenails typically manifest with notable characteristics such as redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. As the condition progresses, it can lead to the development of an open sore or infection, causing further discomfort. Tight footwear, improper nail trimming, and genetic predisposition are common risk factors. Managing ingrown toenails may involve warm soaks, careful nail trimming, and wearing comfortable footwear. In severe cases, medical intervention, including nail avulsion or antibiotics, may be required to alleviate the pain and prevent complications.

Dr. Ryan M. Sherick is a Fellowship-Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon experienced in the care of ingrown toenails and proudly provides care to the following areas in California: Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Malibu, Calabasas, West Hills, Chatsworth, and the entire Conejo Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, and greater Los Angeles area.

Ingrown Toenails Characteristics

Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, are a common podiatric condition characterized by the following characteristics:
Pain and Discomfort: Ingrown toenails typically cause pain and discomfort, especially when pressure is applied to the affected toe, such as when walking or wearing tight-fitting shoes.
Redness and Swelling: The skin around the ingrown toenail often becomes red, swollen, and tender to the touch.
Inflammation: As the nail edge grows into the surrounding skin, the area may become inflamed, leading to pain and warmth around the affected toe.
Ingrowth of Nail: One or both sides of the toenail curve downward or pierce the adjacent skin, causing the nail to grow into the flesh rather than over it.
Infection: If left untreated, ingrown toenails can become infected. This is characterized by the presence of pus, increased pain, and potential drainage of foul-smelling fluid.
Increased Sensitivity:  Ingrown toenails can make the affected toe more sensitive to touch and pressure, making wearing shoes uncomfortable.
Bleeding:  In severe cases, ingrown toenails may cause bleeding when the nail penetrates the skin.
Difficulty Trimming Nails: Individuals with ingrown toenails may find it challenging to trim their nails properly due to the nail’s abnormal growth.
Recurrent Problem: Ingrown toenails can be a recurrent issue, especially if the underlying cause, such as improper nail trimming or tight footwear, is not addressed.
Risk Factors: Factors that increase the risk of ingrown toenails include genetics, incorrect nail cutting techniques, ill-fitting shoes, trauma to the toenail, and certain medical conditions that affect nail growth.

Ingrown toenails can be painful and bothersome, and in some cases, they may require medical treatment, including nail avulsion (partial or complete nail removal) or surgical correction. Early intervention and proper nail care can help prevent and manage this condition.

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