An ingrowing toenail may seem like a fairly uninteresting type of foot problem but for those of us that have suffered with them, you know just how painful it can be.
Your toe can become red and swollen, the flesh about the nail’s edge becomes so very sore to touch that the mere thought of wearing shoes brings tears to your eyes.
It can really be the sort of “simple” foot problem that stops you doing the things you love to do.
An ingrown nail can occur following an injury to the nail or after picking or tearing the nail.
In this situation, part of the broken or torn nail begins to push into the soft, delicate skin next to it.
As the nail grows, the sharp nail section makes a hole in the skin next to the nail which allows bacteria into the skin to produce an infection.
This will leave the toe red, swollen, inflamed and very painful.
Ingrown nails can also develop slowly over many years, slowly changing shape from a flat plate to a curved, staple-like shape.
This curling of the nail can occur with the regular use of shoes that are too small or if there is a bone spur on the top of the end toe bone that sits below the nail.