Tag Archives: Ingrown nail

All about our nails

When we were young, fingernails and toenails gave us no trouble . (They may just be a bit dirty). With advancing age, however, they become brittle, hard, fall off or develop infections and become painful. Suddenly, we are forced to notice our nails!

Looks of nails reveals  many things:
Healthy nails are usually smooth and light pink in colour. Blue nails occur when there is a lack of oxygen in the blood (heart and lung disease). Nails can turn black in vitamin B12 deficiency. A horizontal depression or discoloration can develop across the nail due to illness, antibiotics or chemotherapy. The line becomes prominent as the nail grows out and then gradually disappears. Nails may grow brittle if there is anaemia and can also become spoon shaped. The opposite, a bulged out, parrot-beak like club-shaped nail is seen in chronic obstructive airways disease. Splitting and fraying are associated with hypothyroidism and psoriasis.

Click & see…>Healthy nails

Unhealthy nails

Most important, a close examination of the nails can reveal other disease processes such as iron deficiency (anaemia), vitamin B12 deficiency, diabetes, kidney and liver disease and even infection of the heart valves (endocarditis).

In older people (particularly those who have high blood sugar) an infected ingrown toenail (usually the big toe) is a common problem. This occurs when toenails are trimmed too short, blades or knives are used instead of nail cutters or if the edges of the nails are picked and torn.

Growth of nails:
Fingernails grow faster than toenails. The rate of growth depends on health, heredity and sex. Growth slows during illness and with increasing age, but at the same time, the nails become tougher. They are then more difficult to trim.

Nail biting:
In prehistoric times people had to bite their nails to trim them but today it is a social no-no. Biting in itself is harmless but it can cause secondary bacterial infection of the skin around the nail. It can cause and perpetuate worm infestation. It can transmit flu viruses acquired from contaminated surfaces directly to the mouth. Bitten down nails may work against you in job interviews. It is a habit that is arises out of lack of impulse control, and is perpetuated by stress.

Nail Care:
If there is no diabetes, an ingrown toenail can be treated at home by soaking it in warm salted water for 10 minutes and placing a cotton ball soaked in antibiotic ointment under it.

Nails are also prone to fungal infections. This destroys the nails and gives it an “eaten away” appearance. Topical ointments are not very effective. Medicines have to be taken orally until the infection resolves and a healthy nail grows out. This takes anywhere from three to six months. Medical conditions like psoariasis may mimic fungal infection. A proper diagnosis is essential before embarking on treatment.

For taking care of toe nails, it is advised  to wear slippers or open-toed sandals as in worm climate they  are better than shoes. If shoes have to be worn, they should fit properly. Shoes that people wear every day should have plenty of room around the toes so that nails do not hit the end of the shoe. They should also not be too loose as your feet will slide forward while walking or running and hit the end damaging the nails.It is always adviced to wear socks when one wears shoes.

Resources: The  Telegraph (Kolkata, India)
Diagnose Health Issues by Looking at Your Nails:-

Your fingernails and toenails are not just decorations for the ends of your palms and feet; they’re also an effective warning system for our health. So from now on, before you clip or paint your nails, take a look because they might be trying to tell you something.

WARNING – Some of these images may be unpleasant to look at

1. Dark bands on the nail tips
The tips of the nails seem to have dark bands on each one. This may just be a sign of old age. According to Mayo Clinic, it can also indicate “Terry’s nails“, diabetes, liver disease or even cognitive heart failure. If your doctor diagnoses you as diabetic, you may want to consult with a podiatrist on how to cut your nails to prevent harm.

2. White nails
If your nails are white as seen in the picture,WebMD warns that it may indicate liver problems or hepatitis.

 

3. Clubbed nails
According to the NCBI, nails that are round as seen in the picture may indicate lung problems.

4. Yellow Nails
According to WebMD, if your nails have a yellowish tinge, it may indicate a fungal infection, and even thyroid or lung disease.

5. “Spoon” nails
If the nail edges curve upwards and are soft to the touch, the Mayo Clinic says that it may indicate anemia, heart disease, liver problems, or hypothyroidism.

6. Weak nails
The nails split and chip easily and are overall weak. This often indicates abuse of acrylic nail polish. Let your nails “breath” for a few days, it will help them regain their strength.

7. Bitten nails
WebMD confirms that nails that are bitten down often indicate a state of anxiety, stress, or boredom. Applying foul-tasting nail polish can help you stop chewing on them.

8. Nail dents
If your nails have vertical dents, the NHS says that you may be suffering from skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis, as well as arthritis or even alopecia areata.

9. Loose nails
The nails are loose and come off the nail bed with ease? Cedars-Sinai says that it can indicate hyperthyroidism. If you’re a runner, however, it may just indicate that you’re wearing ill-fitting shoes.

10. Blue nails
Nails that are bluish in color are often an indicator of a lack of oxygen to the extremities. This is why surgeons insist on patients removing any nail polish before undergoing anesthesia. Another possible diagnosis is lung problems, according toWebMD.

11. Ingrown toenails
This is one of the most common nail-related ailments, characterizes by the edges of the toenail growing into the flesh of the toe. This condition may be accompanied by infection and pain.WebMD indicates that the most common causes are: Ill-fitting shoes, trauma to the toe or incorrect trimming of the nails.

12. Dark nails
According to AAFP, if your nails take on a dark color in conjunction with a discoloration of the skin, it may be an indication of melanoma (skin cancer).

13. Nail ridges
Vertical ridges along the nail are actually nothing to worry about.

14. Hematoma under the nail
If you notice spots of red/brown/black color under the nail, it’s most likely indicative of a hematoma, caused by mild trauma to the nail. The AOCDsays that the best treatment is to elevate your feet and ice the injured toe.

15. Horizontal ridges
Horizontal ridges along the nail, known as “Beau’s lines”, occur in cases of zinc deficiency, as well as diabetes, and as a result of high fever. (Source:Mayo Clinic)

16. Thin nails
The AAD warns that constant use of gel nail polish and the subsequent use of UV light and other chemicals can result in thinning of the nails. If this is the case, allow some time for the nails to recover before resuming your gel manicure.

17. Cracked / Missing nails
The NCBI warns that if any part of your nail looks similarly to the discolored, cracked nail in the image on the right, it may indicate that you have a fungal infection called onychomycosis.

18. Pincer nails
According to the NCBI, ill-fitting shoes, excessive trimming, a hereditary condition, and in rare conditions – tumors, can result in the formation of curved “pincer nails”.

19. White spots on the nails
Are there white spots on your nails? WebMD says it’s most likely a result of harsh manicure, nail trauma or ever a hereditary trait.

20. Nail pain
If your nails look healthy but are sore or even painful, visit your doctor and have your nails checked. Pain in the nails can be any of the above reasons, so having them looked at by an expert is not a bad idea.

Source:  E-mail  From of a renowned Doctor

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Nail Diseases & Disorders

Definition:
Nail diseases & disorders are distinct from diseases of the skin. Although nails are a skin appendage, they have their own signs and symptoms which may relate to other medical conditions. Nail conditions that show signs of infection or inflammation require medical assistance and cannot be treated at a beauty parlor. Deformity or disease of the nails may be referred to as onychosis.

A nail disorder is a condition caused by injury to the nail or disease or imbalance in the body.Many persons have had some type of common nail disorder at some part of their lifetime. In some cases one can cosmetically improve a nail disorder but to get a permanent result it is always wise to contact a Licensed Nail Technician.

There are many different kinds of nail diseases and disorders and some of them are mentioned below:-

Click to see the pictures

Bruised Nails
is a condition in which a clot of blood forms under the nail plate. The clot is caused by injury to the nail bed. It can vary in color from maroon to black. In some cases, a bruised nail will fall off during the healing process. Severe bruising should not be worked on.

Onychatrophia
Also known as atrophy describes the wasting away of the nail. The nail loses its shine, shrinks, and falls.
This can be caused by injury to the nail matrix or by internal disease.
Handle this condition with care

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Onychauxis
Show the opposite symptoms of onychatrophia.
Nails with this disorder are abnormally thick. The condition is usually caused by internal imbalance, local infection, or heredity.
File the nail until smooth and buff

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Onychocryptosis:

Onychocryptosis, commonly known as “ingrown nails” (unguis incarnatus), can affect either the fingers or the toes. In this condition, the nail cuts into one or both sides of the nail bed, resulting in inflammation and possibly infection.Ingrown nails is a familiar condition of the fingers and toes in which the nail grows into the sides of the tissue around the nail.If the nail is not too deeply imbedded in the flesh, you can trim the corner of the nail in a curved shape to relieve the pressure on nail groove. If it is deep they should see a doctor.

The relative rarity of this condition in the fingers suggests that pressure from the ground or shoe against the toe is a prime factor. The movements involved in walking or other physical disturbances can contribute to the problem. Mild onychocryptosis, particularly in the absence of infection, can be treated by trimming and rounding the nail. More advanced cases, which usually include infection, are treated by surgically excising the ingrowing portion of the nail down to its bony origin and thermally or chemically cauterizing the matrix, or ‘root’, to prevent recurrence. This surgery is called matrixectomy. The best results are achieved by cauterizing the matrix with phenol. Another, much less effective, treatment is excision of the matrix, sometimes called a ‘cold steel procedure’.

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Onychophagy
Is the medical term for nails that have been bitten enough to become deformed. This condition can be greatly improved by regular manicures or artificial nails.
It is not realistic to tell a nail biter to come back for artificial nails after they have grown a free edge. Artificial nails can help this person break the biting habit. There are also nail biting topically applied remedies available.

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Pterygium
Describes the common condition of the forward growth of the cuticle on the nail. The cuticle sticks to the nail plate and, if not treated, will grow over the nail to the free edge.

The nail pictured is an extreme case and will take several manicures to get the cuticle back in place.

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Leukonychia
Is a condition in which white spots appear on the nails. It is caused by air bubbles, a bruise or other injury to the nail.
Leukonchia can not be corrected but it will grow out.

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Onychorrhexis
Refers to split or brittle nails that also have a series of lengthwise ridges. It can be caused by chemicals, injury to the fingers, excessive use of cuticle solvents, nail polish removers and careless rough filing.
This condition may be corrected by softening the nails with a reconditioning treatment and discontinuing the abuse.

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Hangnails
Is a common condition in which the cuticle around the nail splits.
Hangnails are caused by dry cuticles and skin. They are also aggravated by improper trimming.
This disorder can be solved by keeping the cuticles moisturized with oil and lotion. These can become infected and very painful

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Furrows
Also known as corrugations, are long ridges that run either lengthwise or across the nail. Some lengthwise ridges are normal in adults.
These ridges increase with age and can also be caused by psoriasis, poor circulation and frostbite.
Ridges that run across the nail are caused by high fevers, pregnancy & measles

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Eggshell Nails
Are thin, white, and curved over the free edge. The condition is caused by improper diet, internal disease, medication, or nervous disorders. Be careful when manicuring these nails because they are fragile and break easily.

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Discolored Nails..
This is a condition in which the nails turn a variety including yellow, blue, blue-gray, green, red and purple. Discoloration can be caused by poor circulation, a heart condition, or topical or oral medications. It may also indicate the presence of a systemic disorder. Artificial wraps, tips or an application of colored polish can hide this condition.

To learn more about Nail Disorders you may click on….....(1)(2)….(3)….(4).…..(5)

CLICK TO SEE:->

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Nutrition for Healthy Nails
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://www.beautyweb.com/Ask_the_Experts/Nails/nail_disorders.htm

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Ingrown Toenail

Definition:

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown into the skin instead of over it. This usually happens to the big toe, but it can also happen to other toes. An ingrown toenail can get infected. It may be painful, red, and swollen, and it may drain pus. See an illustration of an ingrown toenail….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It occurs when a nail grows into the flesh at the side of the nail. This usually affects the toes, particularly the big toe. People with curved or thick nails are most likely to develop a problem with ingrown nails, although ingrown nails can affect anyone.

Anyone can get an ingrown toenail, but adults get them more than children do. People who have curved or thick nails are more likely to get an ingrown toenail. This is more common in older adults.

Causes:

An ingrown toenail can have a number of different causes. Cutting your toenail too short or rounding the edge of the nail can cause it to grow into the skin. Wearing shoes or socks that don’t fit well can also cause an ingrown toenail. If your shoes are too tight, they might press the nail into the toe and cause it to grow into the skin.

You can get an ingrown toenail if you hurt your toe, such as stubbing it. This can cause the nail to grow inward. Repeating an activity that injuries the nail, such as kicking a soccer ball, can also cause an ingrown nail.

Ingrown toenails result when the nail grows into the flesh of your toe, often the big toe. Common causes include:

  • Wearing shoes that crowd your toenails
  • Cutting your toenails too short or not straight across
  • Injury to your toenail
  • Unusually curved toenails
  • Thickening of your toenails

An ingrown toenail can result from curved toenails, poorly fitting shoes, toenails that are trimmed improperly, or a toe injury. The skin around the toenail may become red and infected. The great toe is usually affected, but any toenail can become ingrown.

The condition may become serious in people with diabetes.

Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

*Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail
*Redness around your toenail
*Swelling of your toe around the nail
*Infection of the tissue around your toenail

Risk factors:

Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail. But you may be more prone to ingrown toenails if you have toenails that curve down.

Ingrown toenails are also more common in older adults, because nails tend to thicken with age. This thickening or change of the curvature of your nails can cause ingrown toenails.

Complications:

Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection.

Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes because the circulation and nerve supply to your feet can be impaired. Therefore, any relatively minor injury to your foot — cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail — can lead to a more serious complication. In rare cases, an ingrown toenail can result in a difficult-to-heal open sore (foot ulcer), which could eventually require surgery. Foot ulcers left untreated may become infected and eventually even gangrenous. Rarely, amputation is the only treatment option.

Exams and Tests:
A doctor’s examination of the foot is sufficient to diagnose an ingrown toenail.

Treatment:

To treat an ingrown nail at home:

  1. Soak the foot in warm water.
  2. Use a nail file to separate the nail from the inflamed skin.
  3. Place a small piece of cotton under the nail. Wet the cotton with water or antiseptic.

Repeat those steps, several times a day if necessary, until the nail begins to grow out and the pain goes away. Also, trim the toenail and apply over-the-counter antibiotics. If this does not work and the ingrown nail gets worse, see a foot specialist (podiatrist) or skin specialist (dermatologist).

If steps you take at home don’t help, your doctor can treat an ingrown toenail by trimming or removing the ingrown portion of your nail to help relieve pain. Before this procedure, your doctor numbs your toe by injecting it with an anesthetic. After the procedure, you may need to rest your foot and soak it in warm water. Your doctor may also recommend using topical or oral antibiotics for ingrown toenail treatment, especially if the toe is infected or at risk of becoming infected.

For a recurrent ingrown toenail, your primary doctor or foot doctor may suggest removing a portion of your toenail along with the underlying tissue (nail bed) to prevent that part of your nail from growing back. This procedure can be done with a chemical, a laser or other methods.

Prognosis:
Treatment will generally control the infection and relieve pain. However, the condition is likely to return if measures to prevent it are not taken. Good foot care is important to prevent recurrence.

Prevention :

To prevent an ingrown toenail:

  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Trim toenails straight across the top and not too short.
  • Keep the feet clean and dry.
  • People with diabetes should have routine foot exams and nail care.

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://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/ingrown-nail/tp12748
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ingrown-toenails/DS00111/DSECTION=4
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001237.htm

Ingrown Nails

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