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Ingrowing toe nails

An ingrowing toenail is one that pierces the flesh of the toe. It can feel as if you have a splinter, and can be extremely painful. In more severe cases, it can cause pus and bleeding. Ingrowing toenails most commonly affect the big toenail, but can affect the other toes too.
Active, sporty people are particularly prone, because they sweat more. Younger people and women are more likely to get it as a result of cutting nails too low in order to relieve the pressure and discomfort of an involuted nail.

There are many genetic factors that can make you prone to ingrowing toenails, such as your posture, your gait, a foot deformity such as a bunion, hammer toes or excessive pronation of the feet (when your foot rolls in excessively). Your nails may also naturally splay or curl out instead of growing straight, encouraging your nail to grow outwards or inwards into the flesh.

Tight footwear and socks can also push your toe flesh onto the nail so that it pierces the skin and if you have brittle nails with sharp edges or are in the habit of breaking off bits of nails that are sticking out, you’re more likely to get an ingrowing toenail.

Correct nail cutting techniques can help prevent ingrowing toe nails.

An ingrowing toe nail can be treated by a podiatrist by removal of the spike of nail or through removal of the part of the nail causing the problem.