Ingrown toenails occur when the nail penetrates the skin at the side of the nail plate (sulcus). This causes a wound that can become infected. In some instances this results in extra tissue forming (hyper granulation tissue) which increases pressure at the nail and can bleed easily. The reasons for this problem can range from poor nail cutting or picking nails, pressure from tight/loose shoes or hosiery or a genetic predisposition (Wide nail plate). Aggravating factors include, Obesity and Occupational footwear e,g, steel capped boots.
Treatment - Prompt treatment by a podiatrist / chiropodist is recommended to minimise pain and this can often reduce the amount of treatment involved and also costs. Initially your podiatrist may remove the offending spike of nail, cleanse and dress the toe and give advice on prevention; a review appointment is sometimes necessary 7-14 days after your initial appointment. Your podiatrist may refer you to a GP for antibiotics to aid recovery or refer you on to a hospital or Primary Care Centre if the problem is persistent or severe for full nail removal (through surgery).