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Ingrown Toenails

Underlying Problem Requiring Ingrown Toenails Treatment:
Ingrown toenails are the result of a sharp corner of a toenail cutting into the skin of the toe. This can cause considerable pain, and skin may start to grow over the area. Untreated ingrown toenails can become infected and turn into abscesses. They are often caused by ill-fitting shoes or high heels that cause the toes to be pressed together. Cutting the toenails improperly can also lead to ingrown toenails, as can fungal infections or even injuries. Repetitive kicking can also cause this type of damage.

If an ingrown toenail has reached the point of infection, then it is time to see a doctor. In fact, even if the area is only inflamed, a doctor's intervention will help patients avoid reaching the levels of discomfort and treatment needed for full-blown ingrown toenails. Treatment is especially encouraged for those who have diabetes, AIDS, or are on chemotherapy.

Treatment:

A doctor will examine the ingrown toenails to determine if there is an infection and how to go about treating the problem. Blood tests may be required for patients with a severe infection or a history of diabetes. If the situation warrants medical treatment, the doctor may splint the toe after removing any extra tissue that has built up. The area will be numbed first.

More severe cases may require surgery to correct ingrown toenails. This may require the removal of all or part of the nails so that any abscesses can be drained. A tetanus shot will likely be administered at the same time. The doctor may choose to remove some of the nail bed or to utilize another method to keep some of the nail from growing back and causing the same problem again.

Recovery from Ingrown Toenails:

Once the surgery is over, the doctor will bandage the toe. The patient will need to keep the dressing clean and dry and will likely need to apply antibiotic ointment. It may be necessary to have ingrown toenails rechecked within the first three to five days to ensure that they are healing properly. It is usually recommended to keep the foot elevated as much as possible in the first several days.

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