Ingrowing Toenails Are No Joke – Take Them Seriously

17 Nov 2016 ingrowing tonail

When Basil Fawlty poured scorn on the affliction for which his wife Sybil was having an operation, he perpetuated the folk image of the ingrown toenail as a trifling ailment that shouldn’t preoccupy us much. But while onychocryptosis, to give it its medical term. Is easy to repair when treated early, a neglected nail becomes progressively harder to treat, and can pose genuine health risks, particularly to diabetics.

What Is It?

Onychocryptosis occurs when the side of the nail, as it grown, cuts into the adjacent skin. It’s estimated that around 20% of the adult population will experience an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives, and many will suffer complications arising from it. The onset of the condition is very gradual, with a mild swelling and inflammation that becomes tender to the touch. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail is likely to become infected, developing a pocket of malodorous pus.

This is of particular concern to diabetics, since their extremities are likely to have deficient sensation, meaning that the onset of the condition escapes their attention.

What Can You Do?

If you have an ingrown toenail, you should make an appointment to see me as soon as possible. You can help prevent the condition by

  • keeping your nails trimmed to follow the natural contours of the nail
  • avoiding tight shoes
  • keeping your feet clean and dry
  • wearing socks made from cotton or wool, not synthetic fibres.

An ingrown toenail is no joke – don’t treat it as one!