Ingrown toenail occurs when one or both of the lateral edges of the nail penetrates the skin and cuts into the soft flesh of the toe. Any toe might suffer from an ingrown nail, but the big toe, because of its prominence and length, is involved most often. The agents responsible are improper cutting of the nails, hereditary effects, and tight shoes and stockings. Short footwear can exert pressure upon the big toe, press directly on the toenail grooves, and force the outside edge of the nail into the flabby nail fold. . If a person has an inherited tendency towards nails with extreme curvature, the soft tissue of the fleshy folds might grow over the nail plate – and then the nail would grow inward.
Treatment of the ingrown toenail involves removing the offending portions of the toenail, reducing the inflammation, and controlling the infection. In some cases, antibiotics are necessary to prevent worsening of the situation. If the ingrown toenail is chronic a permanent procedure can be used to excise the matrix (root) and prevent recurrence.
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