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Everything related to prevention and treatment

Everything related to prevention and treatment

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Ingrown toenails are annoying, but usually easy to treat. What treatments help and how can inflammation be prevented?

Ingrown toenails are a common phenomenon. They often arise due to incorrectly cutting toenails. Once the nail grows back, an extremely painful inflammation often occurs, which severely limits daily life. Proper nail care and good shoes can prevent this.

Ingrown toenail: Tight shoes and improper nail care can be the cause

In the case of ingrown toenails, the area around the nail becomes inflamed, which can be very painful (glyph). © Panthermedia/Imago

Ingrown toenails usually appear on the big toe because they are exposed to the most pressure in shoes. The nail then grows into the skin and the affected area becomes inflamed, red, swollen, and sensitive to the touch. Sometimes new tissue forms over the nail, called granulation tissue, or the area begins to ooze and bleed. If bacteria get into the wound, pus forms, which can emit a foul odor.

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According to the portal, the reason for the appearance of toenails under the skin is: health.bund to Federal Ministry of Health Including tight shoes, sweat, or improper nail care. Teenagers and young adults are particularly often affected, as the body produces more sweat at this age, as well as older people who find it increasingly difficult to care for their nails. In addition, nails become thicker with age and become more difficult to cut. Diseases such as diabetes, toe and nail deformities (such as ingrown nails), or nail fungus also increase the risk of ingrown toenails.

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Ingrown toenail: Helps fight inflammation

An ingrown toenail usually cannot be overlooked. The affected area is painful, and standing and walking often cause problems. If you act quickly, you can treat an ingrown toenail yourself:

  • In case of mild inflammation, it is sufficient to bathe the toe with warm water and soap until the skin becomes soft. It can then be carefully pushed aside. The area should then be carefully dried and disinfected with an antiseptic ointment or tincture. Apple cider vinegar is also bactericidal.
  • To allow the area to heal, nothing should put pressure on the nail. Special foam wedges installed between the toes help with this.
  • Cotton tampons, special bandages or nail correction supports can also ensure that the nail grows back normally. They are placed by an orthopedist (podiatrist) and are covered by health insurance, as is the case
    German Society for Dermatological Surgery I was informed.

The situation is different with severe inflammation: if the nail suppurates, the infection must be treated by a doctor. This also applies if minor inflammation does not go away over a long period of time or if there is a sensory disturbance caused by diabetes.

In severe cases, surgery may also be necessary. Either the inflamed tissue is removed or the ingrown edge of the nail is cut off.

Ingrown toenails: how to prevent them

Ingrown toenails can be prevented in many cases. It is important to make sure you wear comfortable shoes – your feet should have enough space in them. In warm temperatures, open shoes are recommended because they provide freedom of movement for the toes and make the feet sweat less. How you cut your toenails is also crucial: the corners of the toenail should not be rounded, but rather square and sticking out slightly.

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This article only contains general information about the health topic in question and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not, in any way, replace a visit to a doctor. Our editorial team is not permitted to answer individual questions about medical conditions.