Klára Dlabolová (www.zarostlenehty.com)

*** pedicure, nail bracing, podology ***

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Ingrown nail

A relatively negligible problem, which is not much discussed, but affects a significant group of people.

We usually talk about ingrown nail when the corner or side of a nail grows into the soft flesh and results in pain, redness, swelling and sometimes infection.

Ingrown nail affects primarily big toe and people of all age groups.

Cause

Overwhelmingly, the main cause of an ingrown toenail is its wrong cutting (too short or not straight across). Other frequent causes include ill-fitting footwear, unusually curved toenails or toe injury, diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to feet.

Treatments

Conservative treatment

In mild to moderate cases treatment with warm water and antibacterial ointment can help. For a slightly ingrown toenail a piece of cotton pad is usually placed under the ingrowing nail edge. This separates the nail from the overlying skin and helps the nail grow above the skin edge.

Other method is taping, one end of an adhesive tape is fixed to the affected side of the lateral nail fold and the tape is then stretched, tightened and pulled over the volar surface of the toe and fixed on the contralateral side.

Nail bracing is a reliable and popular method of treatment for ingrown toenails. Besides adhesive nail braces (which are generally made of a thin strip of plastic or composite), there are hooked nail braces, which consists of a hook made of dental wire.

Surgical treatment

This involves several surgical approaches depending on the extent of the patient´s impairment. From the partial removal of the nail (surgeon trims or removes the ingrown portion of the nail) to the complete removal of the nail along with the underlying tissue (nail bed).