Ingrown Toenail

The ingrown toenail is a very common condition that affects all ages but particularly may have devastating effects with diabetic population. There are several causes that may be associated with this condition such as poorly fitted footwear, improper trimming of toenails and involuted (curved) toe nail plates. Usually the 1st toenail is affected but it may appear on any toenail.

In the beginning it is associated with discomfort, slight redness and swelling in nail sulcus (the area where the nail side edge touches skin; refer to Figure 1). During this period, the protruding nail piece may be carefully trimmed and the affected area may be cleaned with alcohol. This will lead to a decrease in discomfort, and therefore, further treatment might not be necessary. However if nail piece is protruding through the superficial part of the skin, a small wound is created and very quickly infection appears which is represented with serous exudate from the wound, pain, redness and swelling in the area (Figure 2) At this time, in addition to a precision removal of the toenail, topical antibiotics are necessary to cure this condition. If the condition is left untreated then granulation tissue will form in the area, thus heightening the risk for need of a surgical procedure and the need for oral antibiotics that necessary to treat this condition (Figure 3). If you have ingrown toenail and you would like to know about the stage of its condition and its coinciding treatment, you can reach us at 905-796-3338