Prevention and treatment of onychocryptosis

Onicocriptosis or incarnated nail is a pathology that commonly occurs in the big toe, although it can affect any toe. It appears when the nail penetrates the skin of the finger, producing pain and inflammation.

Prevention of onicocriptosis

To prevent the onicocriptosis from appearing, it is necessary to know the causes that originate it. There are two types of factors that predispose to the appearance of this condition:

  • Congenital factors: those that are determined by the morphology of the person's foot. The most common alterations are: birth of the broad nail and alterations of the distal phalanx of the finger or in the shape of the nail.
  • Triggers: those external mechanisms that favor that the nail is key in the skin of the finger. The most common are: the incorrect use of nail clippers, use of inappropriate shoes and injuries.

Prevention is going to focus on avoid the triggers. For this it is recommended to follow the following guidelines:

1. Use of footwear appropriate to our morphology and type of footprint

The use of too narrow shoes favors the increase of pressure on the toes, especially in the case of the big toe and little finger. This can cause the nail to stick in the skin, causing pain and inflammation.

So, you have to choose a shoe that is wide enough and avoid the use of heels, which cause pressure on the fingers by the inclination of the foot, and of shoes finished in tip.

Another factor that can favor the onicocriptosis appearance is not to consider our type of footprint when choosing footwear, since the way of walking can influence the lateral part of the nail.

To prevent this problem it is recommended to carry out a study of the footprint and choose a shoe according to our needs or use special templates to reduce pressure points if necessary.

Read more: 8 mistakes we make when choosing summer shoes

2. Correct hygiene and nail cutting

The most frequent cause of onicocriptosis is perform the nail cut incorrectly. To avoid this, you have to follow a series of tips for daily hygiene of the feet and for their arrangement:

Keep feet dry and clean

It is important to pay attention to the drying of the feet when you get out of the shower and do not keep them wet for too long. In addition, you have to use a suitable soap and stop in all areas where dirt can accumulate.

Nail cutting

It is necessary to follow a series of guidelines so that the nail cut is appropriate and does not favor the appearance of this condition:

  • It is recommended Put your feet in hot water so that the nails are softened and its cut is easier.
  • The correct way to cut them is in a straight line, because if the lateral edges are rounded they can grow stooping and penetrating the skin.
  • It is important file the nails with care of not leaving any spike or spike susceptible to dig into the skin.
  • Use the right tools: straight and precise clippers or scissors, not curves.

Read more: How to properly care for your feet?

Treatment of onychocryptosis

There are two types of treatments for onychocryptosis: surgical treatment and conservative treatment.

Conservative treatment

This treatment can be applied if there is no presence of granuloma, which is a reddish bulge in the affected area, formed by blood vessels that usually bleed when rubbed.

It consists in making a smooth cut on the edge of the nail to eliminate the spicule that has been stuck in the skin. Subsequently, it would be indicated to apply cures for the wound to close without becoming infected, as well as unguneal reeducation techniques to favor the correct growth of the nail.

Surgical treatment

If granuloma is present and conservative treatment is not enough, ambulatory surgery is usually applied. There are several techniques to operate an incarnated nail, but the most common is to remove the nail plate totally or partially as well as the corresponding germinative zone. This ensures that the problem returns permanently.

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