In medical term, an ingrown toenail is also referred as Onychocryptosis. An ingrown toenail occurs when the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. Once the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it produces inflammation. Ingrown toenail causes minor discomfort initially and may progress into an infection in the adjacent skin (cellulitis) and can also become a reoccurring problem.
Ingrown toenails are most commonly affect the large (great) toes. People who have diabetes or other conditions that cause poor circulation do face high and more risk factors and complications. It results in pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection.
The main causes of an ingrown toenail are:
- Improper trimming of the toenail.
- An inherited or hereditary condition.
- Improper shoe fitting.
- Injury by overly aggressive pedicures and nail picking.
- Repetitive pressure or trauma to the feet.
- Poor foot hygiene.
- Foot or toe deformities, such as bunions and hammertoes.
- Congenital toenail deformity.
- Fungus infection of the nails (onychomycosis).
- Bony or soft-tissue tumors of the toes.
- Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the feet)
- Edema (swelling) of the lower extremities.
Ingrown toenail symptoms include:
- When you feel discomfort due to pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail.
- Redness around your toenail.
- Swelling of your toe around the nail.
- Infection of the tissue around your toenail.
See your doctor if you:
- Experience severe discomfort in your toe or pus or redness that seems to be spreading.
- Have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet.
- When you experience any foot sore or infection.