Ingrown Toenail Singapore - Causes & Treatment
An ingrown toenail is a painful problem in the big toe or any other toe. It usually occurs when the sharp edges of the nails grow into the soft skin surrounding it or when the nail grows into the flesh of the toe rather than straight out. It can cause pain, swelling, and infection. It can also be frustrating, as getting rid of an ingrown toenail can be challenging.
What are Ingrown Toenails?
An ingrown toenail is a common condition whereby the corners of the entire toenail grow into the soft flesh surrounding the nails. It does not differentiate according to gender or age. Although the big toes are most susceptible to being ingrown, all other toenails have the potential to become ingrown.
What causes ingrown toenails?
There are different causes of ingrown toenails, including:
- Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes
- Nail plate trauma
- Naturally curved toenails
- Inappropriate nail trimming technique
- Cutting nails too short and down the corners
- Certain medical conditions and medications
- Certain foot postures
How will an ingrown toenail affect me?
Individuals suffering from ingrown nails typically present in the clinic with pain, redness and swelling to the affected toe. In some cases, pus may be present. If left untreated, it would result in a wound in the nail sulcus, which does not go away. Pain associated with this condition makes it difficult and uncomfortable to wear shoes.
For individuals with diabetes, if left untreated, ingrown nails have the potential to lead to even more severe consequences – such as amputations – due to potential nerve damage and poor blood flow to the feet.
How to treat an ingrown toenail?
A Podiatrist is a foot specialist to treat and addresses foot conditions, including nail conditions. We are able to manage ingrown toenails for you either conservatively or surgically. If the ingrown nail results from trauma or a single episode of inappropriate nail cut technique, conservative methods may be sufficient to eliminate the problem.
Typically, recurrent ingrown nails would warrant a more permanent solution to more effectively address recurrent pain and potential infection of the toe. Our Podiatrist is proficient in performing this minimally invasive procedure with techniques that result in a very low recurrence rate and minimal downtime to ensure you get the best outcome possible.
Types of Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Podiatrists are trained professionals to perform a procedure of various treatments known as a Partial or Total Nail Avulsion, depending on the condition. It involves making precise cuts to remove the problematic portion and performing techniques to prevent the recurrence of that portion of the nail.
Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA)
Partial nail avulsion (PNA) is a surgical procedure that only removes the affected part of the toenail. The remaining healthy portion of the nail is left intact. This procedure can be done in a doctor’s office and takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on the extent of the ingrown toenail. The goal of the procedure is to remove the underlying cause of the ingrown nail and allow for new, healthy growth without recurrence.
Total Nail Avulsion (TNA)
Total nail avulsion (TNA) is a nail surgery procedure that removes all parts of the affected toenail. This ingrown toenail surgery aims to remove the underlying cause of the ingrown nail and allow for new, healthy growth without recurrence. Sometimes the entire nail is removed entirely and a chemical is used to stop the nail from growing entirely. This procedure is more extensive than a partial nail avulsion and is done under local anesthesia. TNA can be done in a doctor’s office but typically requires a longer recovery.
Depending on your health status, there may be some restrictions. Minor procedures would require a thorough assessment of your condition. Our Podiatrist will be able to conduct a full assessment of your suitability. Get in touch with us to find out more.
Are ingrown toenails can be treated with antibiotics?
- Antibiotics are usually the prescription when there is an ongoing infection. Typically this indicates that your ingrown nail is potentially serious or neglected for a long time.
- Please follow your Doctor’s advice with regard to any prescribed medication.
- Antibiotics will help with the ongoing infection, but if the offending nail spike or nail portion is not removed, this infection will recur. It is highly advisable to seek a medical professional such as a Podiatrist, to manage your condition in a safe and sterile environment. It can help to prevent complications that may worsen the condition. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to see how we may be of help to you!
How to prevent getting ingrown toenails?
Here are some helpful tips from our Podiatrist:
- Trim your toenails straight across and avoid trimming down the corners. You may be leaving sharp edges behind, which can progress into an ingrown nail.
- If you are unable to trim your nails appropriately, please see a professional like a Podiatrist to have your nails done.
- Wear protective footwear. Tight and ill-fitting footwear is easy for your nail bed, plate, or nail matrix to be traumatised and grow into the surrounding skin. For patients with poor sensation, manually check your shoe sizes when you buy them to ensure adequate spaces within the toe box.
- Ensure that you check your feet daily. Ingrown toenails can be detected early as they are causing pain. However, you may not know if you have a poor sensation, even if you have an ingrown nail. If you are concerned, feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment for an assessment and ingrown toenail treatment.
How painful is ingrown toenail removal?
The amount of pain experienced during ingrown toenail removal can vary greatly depending on the severity of the condition and the person. Generally, people experience minimal pain to severe pain during and after the procedure. However, most people tolerate this discomfort well when they know what to expect.
Do ingrown toenails go away naturally?
In minor cases, an ingrown toenail can heal naturally without medical treatment. However, medical care may be necessary if the infection is severe or worsens due to minor and severe bacterial or fungal infections. Sometimes, a physician may recommend minor ingrown toenail surgery to remove the affected nail portion to prevent further infection. In more severe cases, a larger procedure may follow minor surgery depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail.