Ingrown toenail V involuted toenails

I’m often asked is there a difference between ingrown and involuted toenails

Involuted toe nails are nails that curve and press done the sides ( the technical term is nail sulci ) . The nails press down into the sulci causing a build up of hard skin . This can be painful , especially if the nail itself is a bit thick or the shoes are squashing the toe . The pain is usually relieved when you take your foot ware off . It’s rare that these types of nails become infected and apart from the curved nail , the toe and the skin around the nail looks relatively normal.

A ingrown toe nail looks different . The nail is usually a thin normal looking  nail , but the skin next to the nail is often red , swollen and sometimes there is dried blood visible in the toenail . It’s also usually painful , especially in shoes but also even when there is no pressure on the toe . Most patients tell me it even hurts when they are in bed and the sheets touch it !

I’d always suggest treatment sooner than later with this type of problem as the longer it’s left the harder it is to deal with simply . Mostly it’s a simple matter of carefully clipping away the piece of nail that’s embedded into the skin ( podiatrists can do this without pain ) . Never attempt to do this yourself – it usually leads to the toe becoming worse  !

Occasionally, if the ingrowing mail is very bad we have to use local anaesthetic to enable us to clear the problem without worrying how much it might hurt you .

Involuted nails can usually be dealt with much more simply – we can clip the nail and gently remove the hard skin from the sides . Again never attempt this yourself as even a small break in the skin can lead to you creating an even worse problem as they can become infected very easily  .

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