An ingrown nail is caused by a portion of nail imbedded in the skin and is associated with inflammation, pain and redness. The big toe (hallux) is the most common toe affected.
There are multiple causes of ingrown nails and some are inter-related:
- Genetic factors.
- Tight, uncomfortable shoes.
- Poorly performed salon pedicures.
- Pedicures performed by untrained individuals.
- Bony and/or cystic changes from arthritis of all kinds.
- Trauma to the nail plate from sports or a fallen object.
Young children are at risk of ingrown nails due the thin nature of the nail. Those with large skin borders around the nail are also susceptible. Older patients may develop ingrown nail due to circulatory changes or simple wear and tear of the nail.
What are the symptoms of ingrown nails?
- Pain, redness, inflammation.
- Infection as an abscess or erysipelas (serious streptococcal infection of foot and leg).
- Red skin growth that may drain and scab over on the side of the toe near the nail groove (pyogenic granuloma).