ASTORIA, NY, January 14, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Ingrown toenails? Sometimes it’s all about the cut, says certified medical assistant Jennifer M. Wong PA-C, of New York– and New JerseyAdvanced Dermatology PC and Center for Laser and Aesthetic Surgery.
“The temptation, especially among women, is to make nails aesthetic for the pool, beach, or stylish open-toed shoes by trimming them to follow the contour of the toe rather than cutting them straight. Oblique cuts toenails can cause a corner or side of the nail to start growing into the flesh of the toe, often leading to swelling, severe discomfort and – potentially – infection,” warns Wong. “Equally worrying is the excessive nail clipping to achieve a certain ‘look’.”
Experts agree. Researchers writing in the journal Physical Biology suggest that “cutting the [toe]nailing straight, i.e. removing the slight curvature, and maintaining that profile over time should…improve [and prevent] an ingrown toenail condition.” They also cite “beauty fanatics” whose constant nail trimming is at risk of developing serious nail problems.
Meanwhile, the authors of a 2019 article in American Family Physician (AFP) indicate that “nail care habits” are among the “contributing factors” to ingrown toenails, which “account for approximately 20% of [all] foot problems in primary care” and most often involve the big toe.
Wong also cites constricting shoes and tight socks that squeeze nails; excessive sweating of the feet; repetitive trauma to the toes, which can occur during running or other sports; and genes that determine nail shape and thickness, as factors in the development of onychocryptosis – the medical term for ingrown toenails.
Pain, tenderness, redness and swelling around a toe are indicators of an ingrown toenail that needs immediate attention, Wong says. “If ignored long enough, an ingrown toenail can eventually lead to skin infection and, possibly later, bone infection.”
Neglect of the condition can prove particularly serious for patients with diabetes, a condition that inhibits blood flow to the feet. “For a diabetic foot, even a minor problem, like an ingrown toenail at its earliest stage, may not heal properly and cause an infectious, open wound that may require surgery,” warns Wong.
Wong points to a recent prospective study, appearing in a 2020 edition of Dermatologic Surgery, which concludes that ingrown toenails are “effectively treated with nail orthotics with excellent outcomes, favorable patient satisfaction, and low recurrence rates.” An earlier report – in Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings – states that ingrown toenail bracing is a “safe, simple, and inexpensive treatment option that avoids surgery, requires no anesthesia, requires no recovery period, allows existing shoes to be worn, provides a immediate pain relief and allows the practice of daily activities.
Nail braces are “medical devices”, consisting of wires, plastic strips or adhesive materials that are placed on the surface of the nail and used to exert tension on the nail, creating positive changes in the affected toe tissue – much like braces to straighten teeth. . Nail braces are even effective in children, diabetic patients and cases of moderate infection, Wong says.
Of course, a lot can be done at home before an ingrown toenail gets out of control. Wong advises anyone experiencing toe discomfort, mild redness, or tenderness associated with an ingrown toenail to try the following steps at home:
- Soak the affected foot several times a day in lukewarm water with a small amount of Epsom salts added.
- If the process is not too painful, use cotton or a strip of dental floss to gently lift the corner of the offending nail from the skin. Apply rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant under the nail.
- Place some gauze between the nail and the point where the nail pierces the skin.
- Dab the toe with an antibiotic and wrap it so socks or shoes don’t rub it and continually irritate it.
- Wear open-toed shoes or sandals while healing.
- Repeat the process daily.
“If the problem does not improve within a few days, or if the pain and swelling worsen and the area of redness spreads, contact a physician or other appropriate, board-certified dermatology professional,” says Wong. . “If you are a diabetic patient, do not try this at home. Seek medical advice immediately.”
Meanwhile, Wong emphasizes prevention.
- Wear comfortable shoes – not tight or pointy.
- Use protective footwear when participating in sports or work-related activities that can potentially injure toes and feet.
- Keep nails at a moderate length. The search for the perfect nail “look” can just lead to an ugly-looking – and potentially dangerous – ingrown toenail.
“And regularly check the general condition of your feet. They are too often ignored despite being an essential part of a quality daily life,” says Wong.
Organic : Jennifer M. Wong, Physician Assistant PA-C. Ms. Wong has extensive experience in medical and cosmetic dermatology for all ages.
Advanced Dermatology PC and Center for Laser and Aesthetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the nation’s leading dermatology centers, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and advanced medical technologies. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com
Melissa Chefec, Advanced Dermatology PC, 203-968-6625, [email protected]
SOURCE Advanced Dermatology PC