Ingrown toenail is the growth of one side of the nail or the tip of the nail into the flesh in the nail area . This condition is characterized by pain, swelling, and redness in the area of the ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails most often occur on the big toe.
Ingrown toenail is a common condition. Generally, ingrown toenails are harmless if there is no previous blood flow disorder or diabetes.
Ingrown toenails cause pain, especially when walking and wearing shoes. If left untreated or not properly treated, ingrown toenails can lead to infection.
Causes of Cantengan
Ingrown toenails generally occur due to abnormal nail growth , which grows towards the skin and presses on the surrounding skin and flesh tissue. This condition can occur for various reasons, namely:
- Cutting nails the wrong way, such as too short or until it penetrates to the edge of the nail
- Wearing shoes or socks that are narrow or too tight, as this can put pressure on the toenails and cause them to grow into the skin
- Paying less attention to foot hygiene, using footwear when the feet are wet or sweaty
- Experiencing a nail injury, for example from tripping, being hit by a heavy object, or receiving repeated pressure, such as kicking a ball
- Have unusual nail shapes, such as curved ( curved toenails ), so they have the potential to grow and stab into the flesh around the nails
- Have a fungal infection of the nails
Cantengan risk factor
Although it can happen to anyone, there are several factors that can increase a person experiencing canteng, namely:
- 40–50 years old
- Have a history of cantengan in the family
- Having a profession that puts nails under repeated stress, like an athlete
- Have a habit of cutting nails too short
- Have a condition that causes your feet to sweat easily, such as hyperhidrosis
- Wearing shoes that are too narrow
- Suffering from overweight or obesity
Someone who suffers from diabetes or blood flow disorders is also prone to ingrown toenails, because it is easy to damage the skin. Ingrown toenails in diabetics are also more at risk of causing complications if not treated in the right way.
Ingrown toenails are characterized by the appearance of pain, swelling, and redness of the fingers, especially next to the nails. Some of the symptoms or complaints that can arise due to ingrown toenails are:
- Ingrown nails feel painful when touched or put under pressure, such as when wearing shoes
- The skin around the ingrown toenail swells, turns red, and hardens
- There is a buildup of fluid around the ingrown toenail
If the ingrown toenail is accompanied by an infection, the sufferer may experience discharge of pus or blood from the skin near the nail, fever, malaise, or fever.
When to see a doctor
Check with your doctor if you have an ingrown toenail. The sooner it is handled, the complaints and discomfort you feel will subside more quickly.
Also immediately consult a doctor if the ingrown toenail is accompanied by infection, which is characterized by swelling, discharge of pus and a bad odor, or fever.
If you have diabetes, don't delay to see a doctor immediately if you see signs of inflammation on your fingers. Cantengan that is not handled properly can cause more serious complications, especially in diabetics.
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, the doctor will ask questions related to the patient's symptoms. After that, the doctor will conduct an examination to see in more detail the inflammation and infection that occurs in the nail area.
These steps are generally sufficient to diagnose an ingrown toenail. However, in some severe cases, the doctor may suggest that the patient perform an X-ray examination to determine the cause of the ingrown toenail and how deep the nail has penetrated the flesh.
Treatment of ingrown toenails aims to relieve symptoms, treat the cause, prevent recurrence in the future, and prevent complications. If there is no infection, ingrown toenails can generally be treated independently.
However, if the complaint does not subside, there are signs of infection, or occurs in people with diabetes or impaired blood flow, then ingrown toenails need to be treated by a doctor.
Handling cantengan independently
Handling ingrown toenails can be done independently in the following ways:
- Clean your feet with soap and water regularly.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 15–20 minutes 3–4 times a day.
- Take pain relievers, such as paracetamol .
- Keep your feet dry and don't wear shoes and socks that are too tight.
- Use footwear with open toes, such as sandals, so that the nails are not under pressure.
Some people may suggest placing a cotton swab between the fingernail and the skin. However, this action is not completely safe and effective, because it can increase the risk of infection in the finger.
Sufferers should not cut their own nails that are embedded or that enter the skin. Sufferers are also prohibited from pricking the ingrown toenail with anything, because it can make the ingrown toenail worse or cause tetanus.
Handling cantengan by a doctor
Ingrown toenails that do not improve, are infected, frequently recur, or are experienced by people with certain diseases, such as diabetes, require treatment from a doctor. This condition should not be treated independently, because it can risk causing complications.
To treat an ingrown toenail, the doctor will perform surgery to remove part or all of the nail . The choice of the type of surgery will be adjusted to the patient's condition, but what is more often done is the removal of part of the nail.
After undergoing surgery, the doctor will ask the patient to take several steps to speed up recovery, namely:
- Elevate the ingrown area when lying down, for example by supporting the foot with a pillow while sleeping
- Limiting activity or movement of ingrown toenails during recovery
- Wear open-toed shoes that don't suppress the ingrown toenails
- Soak the feet with salt water every day until the ingrown toenail heals
- Using drugs that are given by the doctor regularly
Partially removed nails can generally grow back within a few months. Meanwhile, nails that are completely removed take about 1 year to grow back.
If not treated immediately, ingrown toenails can cause various complications, including:
- Infection that spreads to other parts of the leg and even to the bone
- Raised ulcers or scars
- Disorders of blood flow
- Nerve damage
- Tissue death ( gangrene )
There are several ways you can do to prevent cantengan, namely:
- Avoid cutting nails in an arc that follows the curve of the fingertips.
- Trim your nails straight and not too short.
- Use footwear that fits, is comfortable, and is safe.
- Be careful in activities or sports, especially those that are at risk of causing injury to the toenails.
- Keep your feet clean by diligently washing them, applying moisturizer, and making sure they are dry before wearing footwear.
- Check with your doctor regularly if you have special conditions that have the potential to cause ingrown toenails, such as curved toenails or nails that are too thick.