advertisement

Condition Care Guide


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Ingrown Toenail

foot pain ART

What is ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails occur when the corners of the nails on the feet curl down and push into the skin of the toe.

What are the symptoms?
This common problem can cause redness, swelling and pain in the affected toe. Favoring the non-affected foot while walking can contribute to low back pain and other postural problems. Don't neglect ingrown toenails - they can lead to serious infections, especially if you have diabetes or other conditions that affect the circulation and nerve function of your feet.

What are the causes?
Uneven or improper pressure on the nail bed promotes the downward bending of the toenail. The major causes are poorly fitting shoes and improperly cut nails. Tight shoes press the sides of the nail and force it to curl downward into the skin. Nails can also grow outward into the skin when you cut off their corners or trim them too short. Ingrown toenails also occur when a nail is too big for the toe or when nails thicken with age, changing the way they curve. Sometimes, the natural curl of the nail can be the problem. In addition, trauma - stubbing your toe or having something fall on your foot - can cause an ingrown toenail.

What is the conventional treatment?
Medical treatment usually isn't required. However, seeing a physician is recommended if pain and swelling continue or worsen despite home remedies, or if any infection appears to be spreading. To treat an ingrown toenail yourself, soak the affected foot in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes and push some dry absorbent cotton under the corner of the nail. Be sure to change the cotton frequently. If these measures don't help, minor surgery may be recommended to remove the portion of the nail that is digging into the toe. When the problem is a recurring one, your physician may recommend removing part of the toenail and some of the underlying nail bed to prevent the troublesome part of the nail from growing back. This can be done with a laser or with chemicals.

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for ingrown toenail?
In addition to the home remedies described above, cutting a "v" shaped notch into the top of the nail will help draw the edges of the nail together. You can also carefully file the middle top of the entire nail to make it thinner, which changes the stresses on the nail bed and encourages growth toward the middle of the toe. To prevent ingrown toenails, wear properly fitting shoes and be sure to trim nails straight across without tapering the edges.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Follow Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet and save 30%. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Stay Connected with Dr. Weil
Promote the health of your body, mind and spirit - sign up for Dr. Weil's FREE newsletters today!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

 
Copyright © 2016 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here

  

Condition Care Guide



Ingrown Toenail

foot pain ART

What is ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails occur when the corners of the nails on the feet curl down and push into the skin of the toe.

What are the symptoms?
This common problem can cause redness, swelling and pain in the affected toe. Favoring the non-affected foot while walking can contribute to low back pain and other postural problems. Don't neglect ingrown toenails - they can lead to serious infections, especially if you have diabetes or other conditions that affect the circulation and nerve function of your feet.

What are the causes?
Uneven or improper pressure on the nail bed promotes the downward bending of the toenail. The major causes are poorly fitting shoes and improperly cut nails. Tight shoes press the sides of the nail and force it to curl downward into the skin. Nails can also grow outward into the skin when you cut off their corners or trim them too short. Ingrown toenails also occur when a nail is too big for the toe or when nails thicken with age, changing the way they curve. Sometimes, the natural curl of the nail can be the problem. In addition, trauma - stubbing your toe or having something fall on your foot - can cause an ingrown toenail.

What is the conventional treatment?
Medical treatment usually isn't required. However, seeing a physician is recommended if pain and swelling continue or worsen despite home remedies, or if any infection appears to be spreading. To treat an ingrown toenail yourself, soak the affected foot in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes and push some dry absorbent cotton under the corner of the nail. Be sure to change the cotton frequently. If these measures don't help, minor surgery may be recommended to remove the portion of the nail that is digging into the toe. When the problem is a recurring one, your physician may recommend removing part of the toenail and some of the underlying nail bed to prevent the troublesome part of the nail from growing back. This can be done with a laser or with chemicals.

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for ingrown toenail?
In addition to the home remedies described above, cutting a "v" shaped notch into the top of the nail will help draw the edges of the nail together. You can also carefully file the middle top of the entire nail to make it thinner, which changes the stresses on the nail bed and encourages growth toward the middle of the toe. To prevent ingrown toenails, wear properly fitting shoes and be sure to trim nails straight across without tapering the edges.