A day, we walk one 10,000 steps average, a mobility that is greatly impaired if we have any problem or injury to the feet. In winter, with the use of the closed shoe, these problems are more frequent, since we have the most compressed foot. "Foot ailments is what incapacitates us most in our daily lives," says podiatrist Alexis Aguirre, of the Gipuzkoa Polyclinic Foot Unit of San Sebastián. Aguirre points out that onicocriptosis or ingrown toenail is common at this time, since "those affected are forced to use a footwear that oppresses them in pain points", emphasizes the specialist." Something very common also in skiers, when the fingers hit the inside of the boot, "he adds.
In this sense, the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (AEDV) emphasizes that ingrown toenails represent a pathology often associated with young people, and whose cause is eminently hereditary, like most nail diseases (of the nails).
Ingrown toenails are a pathology associated with young people, whose cause is usually hereditary
“It occurs when the nail is stuck in the flesh, inflaming it, and for this, the solution is to wear a less tight shoe and avoid those who end up on end, as well as not cutting the spikes of the toe nail ”, advises the scientific entity.
The person in charge of the Foot Unit also remembers that, apart from the pain, redness or inflammation that onicocriptosis can cause, sometimes they are also created infections Therefore, among other reasons, it should be treated on time.
Likewise, it points out that the ingrown toenail usually affects mainly the big toeAt the same time as if you suffer from diabetes or any other disease that decreases blood circulation to the feet, there is an increased risk of complications in these cases.
The foot pathology specialist also adds that among the frequent causes of ingrown toenails would be cut your nails too short or inclined, hurting the toenail, wear shoes that make the toenails too close together or have extremely curved nails. “If it is not treated or is not detected in time, an ingrown toenail can infect the hidden bone and produce a serious infection in the area. The complications can be especially serious if you have diabetes, which can cause poor blood flow and damage the nerves of the feet, ”warns the Mayo Clinic (USA).
Moreover, he argues that it is also possible that a minor injury to the feet, such as a cut, a scrape, a callus or that ingrown toenail, does not heal and become infected. “A painful open wound (foot ulcer) may require surgery to prevent rot and death of tissue or gangrene. Gangrene is the consequence of the interruption of blood flow to an area of the body, ”warns the scientific entity.
How to treat these cases
As a general rule, at first, the patient can try to solve this problem on his own. Here, the specialist of the Polyclinic Foot Unit Gipuzkoa remarks that if the pain becomes intense or spreads, it is time to go to the doctor, that surely prescribe some medicine that relieves the discomfort and solves the problem, although while this pain does not go over, you can follow some home remedies with which to alleviate the problem.
From the AEDV, they see fit to cut straight nails and leave the edges of the nail; as well as soaking a cotton in antiseptic and placing it on said edges, between the nail and the meat, this being an option to heal oneself. “The appropriate length of the‘ white ’part, the outstanding one, should be one millimeter,” says the polyclinic specialist Gipuzkoa.
Among other home remedies, the expert aims to soak the feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes, three to four times a week
Among other home remedies, the expert also points to the soaking of the feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes, and three to four times a day, so that the swelling will be reduced and the sensitivity of the area will be relieved. Likewise, it is recommended to place a cotton, or even a dental floss, under the nail and the ingrown edge after each soak, so that the nail is helped to grow above the edge of the skin.
Apply an antibiotic cream on the sensitive area and bandage the finger, wear comfortable shoes until the finger is better or take painkillers are other tips to try to solve the problem on your own. Now, if this were not enough and you had to go to the doctor for a more specific treatment, from the Mayo Clinic come convenient:
1.- Raise the nail that is slightly incarnated (with redness and pain but no pus). “Your doctor could carefully separate the edge of the nail and place cotton, dental floss or a splint underneath. This separates the nail from the skin that covers it and helps the nail grow above the edge of the skin. At home, you will need to rehydrate your finger and replace the material daily, ”they add.
2.- Trim or remove part of the nail, but only in the most severe cases of ingrown toenail, and when the pus has appeared (redness, pain and pus). Anesthesia is used.
3.- If the problem is repeated on the same finger, the specialist could proceed not only to remove part of the nail but also part of the underlying tissue of the same (base of the nail), which would foreseeably facilitate that part of the nail would grow again.
4.- Your doctor may also recommend the topical or oral use of antibiotics, especially if the finger is infected or at risk of becoming infected.
* The Confidential, in collaboration with Quirónsalud, presents a series of articles to clarify doubts concerning myths and popular beliefs related to health as well as to combat false information that can be generated on the internet. If you have any questions about the question and you want more information, you can contact the Gipuzkoa Polyclinic of San Sebastian.