Categories
Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Ribes divaricatum

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Botanical Name : Ribes divaricatum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. divaricatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms : Grossularia divaricata. Steud.

Common Names: Coastal Black Gooseberry, Spreading gooseberry, Parish’s gooseberry, Straggly gooseberry. wild gooseberry and, in the UK, Worcesterberry.

Habitat :Ribes divaricatum is native to Western N. America. It grows on open woods, prairies and moist hillsides.

Description:
Ribes divaricatum is a deciduous shrub sometimes reaching 3 meters in height with woody branches with one to three thick brown thorns at leaf nodes. The leaves are generally palmate in shape and edged with teeth. The blades are up to 6 centimeters long and borne on petioles.

The inflorescence is a small cluster of hanging flowers, each with reflexed purple-tinted green sepals and smaller, lighter petals encircling long, protruding stamens. The fruit is a sweet-tasting berry up to a centimeter wide which is black when ripe. It is similar to Ribes lacustre and Ribes lobbii, but the former has smaller, reddish to maroon flowers and the latter has reddish flowers that resemble those of fuchsias and sticky leaves.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Requires a very sunny position if it is to do well. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. This species is closely allied to R. rotundifolium. Immune to mildew, this species is a parent of many mildew resistant hybrids and is being used in breeding programmes in Europe. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there is at least one named variety.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and juicy. A very acceptable flavour, though a bit on the acid side. It is considered to be one of the finest wild N. American gooseberries. The fruit is sometimes harvested before it is fully ripe and then cooked. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter. On the wild species the fruit can hang on the plant until the autumn (if the birds leave it alone). Young leaves and unripe fruits are used to make a sauce.
Medicinal Uses:

The inner bark has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for colds and sore throats. A decoction of the bark or the root has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of sore throats, venereal disease and tuberculosis. The burnt stems have been rubbed on neck sores.

Other Uses:
The roots have been boiled with cedar (Juniperus spp, Thuja sp.) and wild rose (Rosa spp) roots, then pounded and woven into rope. The sharp thorns have been used as probes for boils, for removing splinters and for tattooing.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribes_divaricatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+divaricatum

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Anemone nemorosa

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Botanical Name : Anemone nemorosa
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus:     Anemone
Species: A. nemorosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Ranunculales

Synonyms:  Crowfoot. Windflower. Smell Fox.,  Anemanthus nemorosus Fourr. Pulsatilla nemorosa Schrank.

Common Names :  Wood anemone, Windflower, Thimbleweed, and Smell fox

Habitat : Anemone nemorosa is native to Europe. It  occurs  throughout the northern temperate zone of C. Europe, including Britain, and W. Asia. It grows in  woodland and shady hillsides in all but the most base deficient or water-logged soils.

Description:
Anemone nemorosa  is a perennial herbaceous plant growing 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) tall.It is an early-spring flowering plant.The plants start blooming soon after the foliage emerges from the ground. The leaves are divided into three segments and the flowers, produced on short stems, are held above the foliage with one flower per stem. They grow from underground root-like stems called rhizomes and the foliage dies back down by mid summer (summer dormant). The rhizomes spread just below th e soil surface, forming long spreading clumps that grow quickly, contributing to its rapid spread in woodland conditions, where they often carpet large areas.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flower is 2 centimetres (0.79 in) diameter, with six or seven (and on rare occasions eight to ten) tepals (petal-like segments) with many stamens. In the wild the flowers are usually white but may be pinkish, lilac or blue, and often have a darker tint on the backs of the tepals. The flowers are pollinated by insects, especially hoverflies.

The yellow wood anemone (Anemone ranunculoides) is a similar plant with slightly smaller, yellow flowers.

It has a long, tough, creeping root-stock, running just below the surface; it is the quick growth of this root-stock that causes the plant to spread so rapidly, forming large colonies in the moist soil of wood and thicket. The deeply-cut leaves and star-like flowers rise directly from it on separate unbranched stems. Some distance below the flower are the three leaflets, often so deeply divided as to appear more than three in number and very similar to the true leaves. They wrap round and protect the flower-bud before it unfolds, but as it opens, its stalk lengthens and it is carried far above them.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil but tolerates dry conditions during its summer dormancy. Plants tolerate dry conditions and drought so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil. Dislikes very acid soils. Prefers a shady position, growing well on woodland edges, but plants can also be naturalized in thin turf. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. The plant has a running rootstock and can spread rapidly when well-sited. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Surface sow or only just cover the seed and keep the soil moist. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in late winter or early spring. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first year. When the plants are large enough, plant them out in the spring. Division in late summer after the plant dies down.

Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Homeopathy; Rubefacient; Tonic.

The leaves are antirheumatic, rubefacient and tonic. The plant is sometimes used externally as a counter-irritant in the treatment of rheumatism. The herb is gathered in spring before the plant comes into flower. Various parts of this herb used to be recommended for a variety of complaints such as headaches and gout, though the plant is virtually not used nowadays. A homeopathic remedy has been made from the leaves.

Though this species of Anemone has practically fallen out of use, the older herbalists recommended application of various parts of the plant for headaches, tertian agues and rheumatic gout.’The body being bathed with the decoction of the leaves cures the leprosy: the leaves being stamped and the juice snuffed up the nose purgeth the head mightily; so doth the root, being chewed in the mouth, for it procureth much spitting and bringeth away many watery and phlegmatic humours, and is therefore excellent for the lethargy…. Being made into an ointment and the eyelids annointed with it, it helps inflammation of the eyes. The same ointment is excellent good to cleanse malignant and corroding ulcers.’

Known Hazards:The plant contains poisonous chemicals that are toxic to animals including humans. The plant contains poisonous chemicals that are toxic to animals including humans, but it has also been used as a medicine. All parts of the plant contain protoanemonin, which can cause severe skin and gastrointestinal irritation, bitter taste and burning in the mouth and throat, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hematemesi All parts of the plant contain protoanemonin, which can cause severe skin and gastrointestinal irritation, bitter taste and burning in the mouth and throat, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hematemesis.

Other Uses:
Anemone nemorosa is grown as an ornamental plant for use in gardens and parks.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anemo036.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemone_nemorosa

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anemone+nemorosa

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Dipsacus pilosus

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Botanical Name : Dipsacus pilosus
Family: Dipsacaceae
Genus: Dipsacus
Species: D. pilosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Common Names:Small Teasel,Shepherd’s Rod

Vernacular names: English: Small Teasel · Deutsch: Behaarte Karde · Français: Cardère velue ·

Habitat :Dipsacus pilosus is  native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa.

Description:
Dipsacus is a genus of flowering plant in the family Dipsacaceae. The genus includes about 15 species of tall herbaceous biennial plants (rarely short-lived perennial plants) growing to 1-2.5 m tall,
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Although still a tall plant it is altogether much daintier and is less sharply prickly, the tips of the bristles ending in soft hairs.
Blooming from July to September, the flowers are white with violet anthers and woolly spines. Out of each of the tiny, funnel shaped, four-lobed corollas protrude four little stamens making the flower resemble a tiny little round pincushion. Below the 15 to 20mm (6 to 8in), globe shaped flowerheads are bristly linear bracts which form a little collar or ruff.

Cultivation:
Teasel is a biennial plant; it germinates in its first year, and flowers in its second. The first year it appears as a rosette of spine-coated leaves, which die in the second year as energy is diverted to growing the tall stem.
Although often found amongst tall vegetation the seeds of small teasel require the soil to be disturbed for germination. It therefore requires a habitat subject to occasional management if it is to persist, if the soil isn’t disturbed, collect seeds in the autumn and re-sow.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is bitter and, given in strong infusion, it strengthens the stomach and creates an appetite.  It is also a liver tonic.  It is not much used because it is not often found, growing only in scattered areas. The Common Teasel has similar virtues.

Other Uses:
Leave the stems to shed their seeds naturally then cut and hang upside down. The flowers will last for many years if dried correctly.

Borders and Beds, Flower arranging, Wildlife and Wildflower Gardens.
The seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European Goldfinch; teasels are often grown in gardens and encouraged on nature reserves to attract them.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipsacus_pilosus
http://www.seedaholic.com/dipsacus-pilosus.html
http://luirig.altervista.org/flora/dipsacus.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Cleft Lip And Plate

What is cleft lip and palate?
At around six weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s upper lip and palate develop from tissue lying on either side of the tongue. Normally these tissues grow towards each other and join up in the middle.

When the tissues that form the upper lip fail to join up in the middle, a gap forms in the lip. Usually, there will be a single gap below a nostril (unilateral cleft lip). Sometimes there are two gaps in the upper lip, each below a nostril (bilateral cleft lip). When the palate fails to join up, a gap is left in the roof of the mouth, going up into the nose.

About half of all clefts involve both the lip and palate. About 2 in 10 are of the lip alone and 3 in 10 are of the palate alone. Of clefts that involve the lip, 8 in 10 are unilateral and 2 in 10 are bilateral.

A clear upper lip and palate are among the most common defects in babies and affect about 1 in 700 babies in the us. These conditions may occur singly or together and are present at birth. both conditions are very upsetting for parents, but plastic surgery usually produces excellent results.

………….CLICK & SEE

The defects occur when the upp & SEEer lip or roof of the mouth does not fuse completely in the fetus. In many cases, the cause is unknown, but the risk if higher if certain anticonvulsant drugs, such as phenytoin, are taken during pregnancy or if the mother is a heavy drinker. cleft lip and /or palate sometimes run in families.

If a baby is severely affected, he or she may find it difficult to feed at first, and, if the condition is not treated early, speech may be delayed. Children with a cleft lip and/or palate are also susceptible to persistent buildup of fluid in the middle ear that impairs hearing and may delay speech.

Cleft lip and cleft palate, which can also occur together as cleft lip and palate are variations of a type of clefting congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during gestation. This type of deformity is sometimes referred to as a cleft. A cleft is a sub-division in the body’s natural structure, regularly formed before birth. A cleft lip or palate can be successfully treated with surgery soon after birth. Cleft lips or palates occur in somewhere between one in 600-800 births. The term hare lip is sometimes used colloquially to describe the condition because of the resemblance of a hare’s lip. The Chinese word for cleft lip is tuchun , literally “harelip.”

Cleft lip
If only skin tissue is affected one speaks of cleft lip. Cleft lip is formed in the top of the lip as either a small gap or an indentation in the lip (partial or incomplete cleft) or continues into the nose (complete cleft). Lip cleft can occur as one sided (unilateral) or two sided (bilateral). It is due to the failure of fusion of the maxillary and medial nasal processes (formation of the primary palate).


.
.Unilateral incomplete..….Unilateral complete..…..Bilateral complete

A mild form of a cleft lip is a microform cleft. A microform cleft can appear as small as a little dent in the red part of the lip or look like a scar from the lip up to the nostril. In some cases muscle tissue in the lip underneath the scar is affected and might require reconstructive surgery. It is advised to have newborn infants with a microform cleft checked with a craniofacial team as soon as possible to determine the severeness of the cleft. The actor Joaquin Phoenix is an example of a person with a microform cleft that did not require surgry.

Cleft palate
Cleft palate is a condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely joined. The soft palate is in these cases cleft as well. In most cases, cleft lip is also present. Cleft palate occurs in about one in 700 live births worldwide.

Palate cleft can occur as complete (soft and hard palate, possibly including a gap in the jaw) or incomplete (a ‘hole’ in the roof of the mouth, usually as a cleft soft palate). When cleft palate occurs, the uvula is usually split. It occurs due to the failure of fusion of the lateral palatine processes, the nasal septum, and/or the median palatine processes (formation of the secondary palate).

The hole in the roof of the mouth caused by a cleft connects the mouth directly to the nasal cavity.

A direct result of an open connection between the oral cavity and nasal cavity is velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). Because of the gap, air leaks into the nasal cavity resulting in a hypernasal voice resonance and nasal emissions. Secondary effects of VPI include speech articulation errors (e.g., distortions, substitutions, and omissions) and compensatory misarticulations (e.g., glottal stops and posterior nasal fricatives). Possible treatment options include speech therapy, prosthetics, augmentation of the posterior pharyngeal wall, lengthening of the palate, and surgical procedures.
………………..Pictures showing unilateral and bilateral cleft lip and palate

.Symptoms:
Feeding
Most babies with a cleft lip can be breastfed. However, some babies have difficulty creating a seal around the nipple and may not be able to breastfeed. A special squeezy bottle can be used for feeding and can help if the baby can’t suck hard enough. These bottles are provided by specialist cleft nurses and are also available from the support charity CLAPA (see Further Information).

Babies who find it difficult to feed may gain weight slowly at first. A specialist cleft nurse can give advice about changing the type of formula milk and other feeding issues.

Speech
Cleft palate can cause problems with speech. The size of the cleft is not an indicator of how serious speech problems are likely to be – even a small cleft can affect speech. Most children go on to speak normally after some speech therapy, although sometimes further surgery will be needed to improve palate function. Children with clefts can sometimes have nasal sounding speech.

Hearing

Children with clefts sometimes have hearing problems. This is because the tube that connects the ear to the palate (the Eustachian tube) can be affected. Having a cleft can increase the chance of developing a condition known as glue ear. This is quite a common condition in all children and occurs when thick, sticky fluid builds up behind the eardrum. It can cause temporary hearing loss. As part of surgery to repair a cleft palate, surgeons often put a tiny plastic tube (a grommet) into the eardrum so that the fluid can drain out.

Teeth
Occasionally, a cleft palate may also affect the growth of you child’s jaw and the development of the teeth. Looking after teeth well and having regular care from a dentist or orthodontist can minimise problems.

Your child may need to have extensive orthodontic treatment to make sure the teeth come through straight and in the right place. This may involve wearing braces, especially around the time the second teeth are coming through and during the early teens. Your child may also need to have some teeth removed to prevent overcrowding.

Causes:
There are many factors that hinder the joining up process of the lip or palate during a baby’s development. If you have had a child with a cleft lip or palate, your chance of future children being affected is increased.

However, doctors can’t reliably predict which pregnancies will be affected because cleft lip and palate is usually caused by a combination of genetic and other unknown factors. The unknown factors may include an illness during pregnancy or being exposed to certain substances such as tobacco smoke or certain medicines.

Treatment:
Specialist centres
Ideally, children with cleft lip and palate should be treated by a multidisciplinary specialist “cleft team” that may include surgeons, speech and language therapists, audiologists (hearing experts), dentists, orthodontists, psychologists, geneticists and specialist cleft nurses. Care and support of your child and the family should last from birth until your child stops growing at about age 18.

If you have a baby born with a cleft lip or palate, your maternity hospital should refer you to one specialist centre. Often they have specialist nurses who can visit you to provide immediate support and advice. This can be invaluable in the early days.

Surgery
The timing of surgery varies, but usually an operation to close the gap in the lip will be done about three months after the baby is born. Surgery to close the gap in the palate is usually done at about six months.

Both operations are done while your baby asleep under general anaesthetic and involve a hospital stay of 3 to 5 days.

As your child grows older, further surgery may be needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose and the function of the palate. If there is a gap in the gum, a bone graft will normally be done when your child is between 9 and 12 years old. This will help their second teeth to anchor properly into the gum. Bone is usually taken from the hip or shin and grafted into the gap in the gum.

Prevention:
If you have had a child with a cleft lip or palate, you may be offered genetic counselling to find out the chances of your next child being affected. However, in most cases the most sensible approach is simply to aim to have a healthy pregnancy. Smoking and drinking alcohol have been shown to increase the risk of babies being affected, and can cause other birth defects.

Research has shown that taking a daily supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid in the month before conception and in the first two months of pregnancy can help prevent cleft lip. This is the same amount of supplement recommended to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

It’s thought that certain medicines may slightly increase the risk of cleft lip and palate. These include anti-epilepsy medicines such as phenytoin (eg Epanutin) and sodium valproate (eg Epilim). Steroid tablets and a medicine called methotrexate (eg Metoject) that is used to treat some cancers and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may also increase the risk. If you are on these medicines, you should discuss the benefits and possible risks with your doctor before trying for a baby.

Help and support:
If you are a new parent of a child who has a cleft lip or palate, or a child who was born with a cleft, a specialist psychologist working in the cleft team can help you cope with some of the challenges you may have to deal with. It can also help to get support from other people who have had have had similar experiences, either as parents, or as someone who has grown up with a cleft leaf.

Click for more knowledge & information:

www.clapa.com
www.changingfaces.org.uk
Cleft Plate Foundation
Best Way to Manage Cleft Lip and Palate

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

.Resources:
http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/Mosby_factsheets/cleft_lip.html
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=341
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleft_lip_and_palate

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Ingrown Nails

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Onychocryptosis, commonly known as ingrown nails (unguis incarnatus) or ingrowing nails, is a common form of nail disease. It is a painful condition in which the nail grows or cuts into one or both sides of the nail bed. While ingrown nails can occur in both the nails of the hand and feet, they occur most commonly with toenails.

Ingrown nail

Causes
Causes include:

  1. poor maintenance, like cutting the nail too short, rounded off at the tip or peeled off at the edges (versus being cut straight across), is likely to cause ingrowth;
  2. ill-fitting shoes, like those that are too narrow or too short, can cause bunching of the toes in the developmental stages of the foot (frequently in the under 21s), causing the nail to curl and dig into the skin;
  3. trauma to the nail plate or toe, such as can occur by stubbing the toenail, dropping things on the toe and ‘going through the end of your shoes’ in sports, can cause the flesh to become injured and the nail to grow irregularly and press into the flesh;
  4. predisposition, like abnormally shaped nail beds, nail deformities caused by diseases, and a genetic susceptibility to nail problems can mean a tendency to ingrowth.

Symptoms:
Symptoms of an ingrown nail include pain along the margins of the nail (caused by hypergranulation that occurs around the aforementioned region), worsening of pain when wearing shoes or other tight articles, and sensitivity to pressure of any kind, even that of light bedding. Bumping of an affected toe with objects can produce sharp, even excruciating, pain as the tissue is punctured further by the ingrown nail. By the very nature of the condition, ingrown nails become easily infected unless special care is taken to treat the condition early on and keep the area as clean as possible. Signs of infection include redness and swelling of the area around the nail, drainage of pus and watery discharge tinged with blood. The main symptom is swelling at the base of the nail on whichever side (if not both sides) the ingrowing nail is forming.
Chronically ingrown toenail (that twice had failed wedge resections on both sides)
Treatment:

Treatment of ingrown nails ranges from soaking the afflicted area to surgery. The appropriate method is dictated by the severity of the condition. In nearly all cases, drainage of blood or watery discharge should mean a trip to the doctor, usually a podiatrist, a specialist trained explicitly to treat these conditions. Most practitioners agree that trying to outwait the condition is nearly always fruitless, as well as agonizing.
Alternative Medication:   Because of the possibility of serious complications, a physician should be consulted for treatment of severe and/or infected ingrown nails. Alternative treatments for treating ingrown nail include:

Ayurveda. Ayurvedic principles state that persons whose constitutions are dominated by vata and kapha have stronger nails and are prone to ingrown nails. Ingrown nails are treated with warm water soaks followed by application of a solution of equal parts tea tree and neem oils under the nails.

Herbal therapy. When an ingrown nail is forming, the toe should be soaked for 15-30 minutes in five drops each of hypericum and calendula tinctures diluted in 1/2 pint of warm water. Afterward, the toe should be wrapped in linen, placing it between the fold and the nail.

Homeopathy. Preparations of Hepar sulph or Silica in 6c potency may be taken every 12 hours for two weeks, to reduce the inflammation around the nail.

Hydrotherapy. To treat ingrown nail, the patient should soak the foot in hot, soapy water for 20 minutes, trim the nail square, wrap the toe in a hot compress, and cover it with a dry cloth overnight. In the morning, the patient should trim the nail into a U shape and place a bit of cotton between the nail and the fold. The cotton should be kept in place until the nail grows out.

Massage. If an ingrown nail is developing the patient should push the skin away from the nail. Repeated massage of the overgrown lateral nail folds can reduce pain and separate the fold away from the nail.

Home care:
In mild cases (not including the severe cases in the photos above), doctors recommend daily soaking of the afflicted digit in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts and applying an over-the-counter antiseptic. This might allow the nail to grow out so it may be trimmed properly and the flesh to heal. A simple yet extremely painful procedure for mild ingrowth (i.e., where infection is absent) requires small scissors to trim the nail completely along the nail margin down to the lateral base. This hopefully allows the embedded piece of nail to be pushed back and out from the toe tissue. Note that infection may be somewhat difficult to prevent in cleaning and treating ingrown nails owing to the warm, dark, and damp environment in shoes. Peroxide is immediately effective to help clean minor infections but iodine is more effective in the long term as it continues to prevent bacterial growth even after it is dry. [N.B.: Iodine should not be used on deep wounds. In such cases a physician or podiatrist should be consulted.] Also, bandages can help keep out bacteria but one should never apply any of the new types of spray-on bandages to ingrown nails that show any discharge – preventing drainage will likely cause intense swelling and pain.

It is also advisable to walk around barefoot so that air has a chance to circulate. Infections often become more painful when they are not exposed to air because bacteria grows more quickly in warmer conditions eg. when the foot is impacted tightly in a shoe.

These home remedies are, in serious cases, ineffective:
when the flesh is far too swollen and infected, it will not allow for these procedures to work. Thus, these more severe cases, such as when the area around the nail becomes infected or the nail will not grow back properly, must be treated by a professional and the patient should avoid repeated attempts at this type of ‘bathroom surgery.

Phenolisation:
Following injection of a local anaesthetic at the basis of the toenail and perhaps application of a tourniquet, the surgeon will remove (ablate) the edge of the nail growing into the flesh and destroy the matrix area with phenol to permanently and selectively ablate the matrix that is manufacturing the ingrown portion of the nail (i.e., the nail margin). This is known as a partial matrixectomy, phenolisation, phenol avulsion or partial nail avulsion with matrix phenolisation. Also, any infection is surgically drained. After this date, other suggestions on aftercare will be made, such as salt water bathing of the digit in question. The point of the procedure is that the nail does not grow back where the matrix has been cauterized and so the chances of further ingrowth are very low. The nail is slightly (usually one millimeter or so) narrower than prior to the procedure and is barely noticeable one year later. The surgery is advantageous because it can be performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia with minimal pain following the intervention. Also, there is no visible scar on the surgery site and a nominal chance of recurrence. The procedure will fail in about 2 to 3 times out of a hundred.

Wedge Resection
Partial removal of the nail or an offending piece of nail. More complex than a complete nail avulsion (removal).

Here, the digit is first injected with a common local anesthetic. When the area is numb, the physician will perform an onychotomy in which the nail along the edge that is growing into the skin is cut away (ablated) and the offending piece of nail is pulled out. Any infection is surgically drained. This process is referred to as a “wedge resection” or simple surgical ablation and is non-permanent (i.e., the nail will re-grow from the matrix). The entire procedure may be performed in a physician’s office and takes approximately thirty to forty-five minutes depending on the extent of the problem. The patient is allowed to go home immediately and the recovery time is anywhere from a few days to a week barring any complications such as infection. As a followup, a physician may prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic or a special soak to be used for approximately a week after the surgery……....click  & see 
A resected wedge from the left side of the left big toe, shown to scale.

It should be noted that some physicians will not perform a complete nail avulsion (removal) under any but the most extreme circumstances. In most cases, these physicians will remove both sides of a toenail (even if one side is not currently ingrown) and coat the nail matrix on both of those sides with a chemical or acid (usually phenol) to prevent re-growth. This leaves the majority of the nail intact, but ensures that the problem of ingrowth will not re-occur.

Disadvantages: If the nail matrix is not coated with the applicable chemical or acid (phenol) and is allowed to re-grow, this method is prone to failure. Also, the underlying condition can still become symptomatic as the nail grows out over the course of up to a year: the nail matrix might be manufacturing a nail that is simply too curved, thick, wide or otherwise irregular to allow for normal growth. Furthermore, the flesh can be injured very easily by concussion, tight socks, quick twisting motions while walking or just the fact the nail is growing wrongly (likely too wide). This hypersensitivity to continued injury can mean chronic ingrowth; the solution is nearly always edge avulsion by the highly successful phenolisation.

CO2 Laser surgery

Following injection of a local anaesthetic at the basis of the toe and perhaps application of a small tourniquet, the surgeon will remove (ablate) the edge of the nail growing into the flesh and cauterize the matrix area by laser photocoagulation. This too is known as a partial matrixectomy or partial nail avulsion. Here too, the point of the procedure is that the nail does NOT grow back where the matrix has been cauterized and so the chances of further ingrowth is very low. The nail is slightly (usually one millimeter or so) narrower than prior to the procedure. Disadvantages: sutures are usually necessary, post-operative pain due to the wound and scar.
…………………………….Post-surgery toe with removed nail shard

Nail Avulsion (Removal)

While in some similar cases patients may wish to have the offending nail completely temporarily removed( Avulsion) , this procedure is not recommended by nail experts because the postoperative period is long and painful. Furthermore, complete removal of whole nail does not always prevent recurrences.In case of recurrence in spite of complete removal, and if the patient never feels any pain before inflammation occurs, the condition is more likely to be onychia which is often confused for an ingrown or ingrowing nail (onychocryptosis).

Complete removal of whole nail is a simple procedure. Here, anaesthetic is injected, the nail is removed quickly and painlessly and the patient can leave immediately. The entire procedure can be performed in around 10 minutes and is much less complex than a “wedge resection” as above. Note that the nail will grow back. However, in most cases it will cause further problems as it can become ingrown very easily as the nail grows outward. It can become easily injured by concussion and in some cases grows back too thick, too wide or deformed. This procedure can thus result in chronic ingrown nails and is therefore considered a generally unsuccessful solution, especially considering the pain involved.

Accordingly, in some cases as determined by a doctor, the nail matrix is coated with a chemical (usually phenol) so none of the nail will ever grow back. This is known as a permanent or full nail avulsion , or full matrixectomy, phenolisation, or full phenol avulsion . As can be seen in the images below, the nail-less toe looks much like a normal toe and fake nails or nail varnish can still be applied to the area.


If left untreated:

If an ingrown nail is left untreated, there exists a high risk of dangerous infection. When the skin around the nail gets infected, it begins to swell up and put even more pressure against the nail. Ingrown nails can produce a spear shaped wedge of nail on the lateral side of the toe which will progressively become more embedded into the toe tissue as the nail grows forward. In the worst case, the swelling will begin putting sideways pressure on the nail, causing it to grow at a slant. This will cause both sides of the nail to eventually become ingrown and swollen. Eventually the swollen parts of the skin will begin to harden and fold over the nail. An untreated ingrown toenail will cause a person to walk with a limp, which over a long period of time may cause further pain and injury to the foot, leg and back owing to improper distribution of weight. Other non-direct effects of seriously ingrown nails include lack of exercise, constant and unrelenting pain and pressure, the spread of infection, loss of appetite, inability to move around, and psychological effects (like anxiety, stress and feelings of despair). Amputation of the toe, foot or leg may be the final outcome if the infection is left untreated long enough for gangrene to set in. An untreated infection may also lead to a condition known as osteomyelitis, where the infection spreads to the bone of the infected digit. Once in the bone, the infection is more difficult to remove and may require the intravenous treatment of antibiotics. One should always consult a doctor when infection is present.

Prevention:
The most common place for ingrown nails is in the big toe but ingrowth can occur on any nail. Ingrown nails can be avoided by cutting nails straight across; nails should not be cut along a curve, nor should they be cut too short. Footwear which is too small, either in size or width, or those with too shallow a ‘toe box’ will exacerbate any underlying problem with a toenail.

Ingrown toe nails can be caused by injury, commonly concussion where the flesh is pressed against the nail causing a small cut that swells. Also, injury to the nail can cause it to grow abnormally, making it thicker or wider than normal or even bulged or crooked. Stubbing the toenail, dropping things on the toe and ‘going through the end of your shoes’ in sports are common injuries to the digits. Injuries to the toes can be prevented by wearing shoes most of the time, especially when working or playing.

One myth is that a V should be cut in the end of the ingrown nail; this myth is untrue. The reasoning of the myth is that if one cuts a V in the nail, the edge of the nail will grow together as the nail grows out. This does not happen – the shape of the nail is determined by the growing area at the base of the toe and not by the end of the nail. {(fACT: http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/ingrown-toenail.htm DATE: September 21, 2007}}

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2603/is_0004/ai_2603000454
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingrown_nail