Ingrown VS Involuted Toenails.
I’m often asked is there a difference between ingrown and involuted toenails.
Involuted toenails are nails that curve and press down 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 footwear off. These types of nails rarely become infected, and apart from the curved nail, the toe and the skin around the nail looks relatively normal.
An ingrown toenail 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 rather 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 and usually don’t mind giving advice if you speak to us first ). Never attempt to do this yourself – it usually leads to the toe becoming worse!
Occasionally, if the ingrowing nail is very bad, we have to use a 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 tiny break in the skin can lead to you creating an even worse problem as they can become infected very easily.
If you’re suffering from either of these problems, contact us today, and we will be able to help!