Ingrown toenail; the impact of foot wears.



Show me a woman, who does not wear high heels, I will be quick to think of a woman who is unfashionable. However, the laundry list of damage that high heels can do to the body just got longer: According to physicians, high-heeled shoes account for the major causes of ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenail is a common form of nail disease. It is a painful condition, which occurs when the edge of the nail grows down and into the skin of the toe.
This condition is prevalent and common to those wearing shoes. It is does not affect those who are habitually barefooted. Ingrown toenail is caused by downward pressure on the nail by a shoe. Ingrown nail can occur in both the hand and feet but commonly affect toenails.
Causes
Wearing poorly fitted shoes that are either too tight or too loose can cause ingrown toenail. Too tight shoes will place excessive pressure on your toe. Ingrown nails can also occur because of poorly trimmed toenails, deformities of the foot or toes, or injuries to the toe.
Symptoms
1.      Pain occurs along the nail margin. It can be worsened by continuous wearing of tight foot wears.
2.      Swelling and redness at the base of the nail on the affected side is evident.
3.      Watery discharge, tinge of blood and sometimes pus discharge at the wound side when severely infected.
Treatment
Management of ingrown toenail depends on severity of the disease. Conservative and surgical measures can be used to manage the disease.
Conservative treatment
1.      Add salt to warm water and soak your feet. This can be done 3-4 times daily.
2.      Ensure to keep it dry.
3.      Gently massage over the inflamed skin and then place a small piece of cotton under the nail.
4.      Apply antibacterial ointment.
If the conservative management procedure fails, surgical treatment may be required. Surgery can be done by a foot and ankle specialist. It is an office procedure done using local anesthesia and surgical instrument. However, note that reoccurrence is possible; hence, it is best to prevent.
By Dr Latifah Owoo 
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