Ingrown nail is a common problem that many people may encounter. It can be painful and uncomfortable which prevents the daily, business and sports life of the person, especially in case of infection, it can cause contamination of items such as socks, bed linen, slippers, towels used and domestic hygiene problems. Ingrown toenails can be the beginning of infectious in people with systemic disease (diabetics, vascular disease and patients with weak immune system) and it can even be a life-threatening situation.
Ingrown toenails can occur on all toes, but most often occurs on the big toe. While the nail plate is elongated, dome from one or both sides, soft tissue overflowing the nail plate, nail may grow when the nail plate grows towards the adjacent skin.
Ingrown nail initially manifests itself in the form of pain when wearing shoes. Over time, the infection that persists in the integrity of the skin, continues with sweating, redness, discharge and overflow and progression of the edge tissue over the nail plate. The tissue on the edge of the nail moves over the nail plate, making the current situation more complex and creating a vicious circle. The nails normally form at the root of the nail, in the part called the germinal matrix under the skin, and travel over the nail bed and extend to the fingertip. Sometimes the toes of the nail sink into the skin from the sides or the nail can come not only in the corners, but completely submerged in the nail bed. As a result, a sunken, inflamed and runny nail makes a person’s daily life difficult. When untreated, the inflammatory condition can progress to deeper tissues and cause serious problems.
Why Does It Occur?
There are many reasons for ingrown toenail. The most important of these is the wrong nail cutting and the use of unsuitable shoes. Excessive sweating of the foot, edema and swelling in the standing and soft tissues, obesity, recurrent bumps and nail deformities due to fungal infection are the preparatory factors for ingrown nail. The best method to prevent ingrown nail formation is proper nail cutting, hygiene and proper shoe wear. Nail sticking and other finger deformities are very rare in primitive societies that do not wear shoes. This result shows us that some foot problems are related to shoes.
In terms of nail problems, it is necessary to avoid wearing hard, narrow and tight shoes. It is important to use suitable shoes and sweat-absorbent cotton socks, especially during sports activities where weighting and moistening are more. The nails should not be cut from the zero point, but should be cut long enough to overflow the fingertip skin by 1 mm. Nail corners should be cut corners without being rounded.
This is a problem that can be seen in children. Ingrown nail in children occurs due to a problem caused by the nail bed, which ensures the correct growth of the nail from birth. Unlike adult, it occurs with the first nail growth following birth and can continue throughout the child’s entire life.
Which Medical Branch is Interested in Nail Ingrown?
First of all, it should be known that nail sticking and other nail problems are a medical condition. Orthopedics, dermatology specialists and foot health centers treat nail problems. The dermatologist deals with the medical aspect of the nail, the orthopedist deals with the surgical aspect, the foot health centers aim to eliminate the foot problems within certain limits with the basic foot care.
What Is The Approach To Nail Ingrown?
The pro-disease of the person with a nail sticking or a nail problem must be questioned. A timeless, incorrect or incomplete intervention in diabetic patients, patients with vascular problems and patients using drugs or drugs that suppress the immune system may have irreparable consequences. In such patients, extreme care should be taken and a systematic treatment approach should be taken. After listening to the person and after the current disease query, a detailed foot and nail examination is performed. Factors that predispose to nail sticking such as foot and finger deformity, nail deformity, fungal infection, excessive sweating of the foot and moisture condition are determined. The ingrown nail is examined and the stage or grading of the disease is performed. This staging or grading is important to determine the treatment plan, type and predict the possible problems encountered in the treatment process. Staging or grading is based on the duration of the problem, the presence of nail deformity, the presence of the infection and the severity of the infection, if any, the edge overflowing the nail plate, the presence of body reaction tissue.
Ali YILMAZ, M.D.
Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist