Cut Down on Toe Infections
Sun Newspaper (05/11/2003)
definition, an ingrown toenail is simply one which has
one or both sides pushing deeply into the adjacent tissue.
What most people understand to be an ingrown toenail
is really an infected toe caused in the vast majority
of cases by an incorrect nail-cutting technique.
The correct nail-cutting technique, in the case of
toenails, is to cut them straight accross, even if it
means leaving some "white" in the corners
and letting the nail clear the end of the toe.
It is also much better to trim the nails frequently
than try to cut as much of the nail away as possible.
This is especially the case with an ingrown toenail
because the curvature of the nail makes it difficult
to see whether the nail has been cut properly, because
the edge of the nail is "buried" in the adjacent
The problem - and the danger for diabetics and people
with poor circulation - is that the nail can easily
splinter at the adge, leaving a spike or rough edge.
It is this spike or rough edge that starts to penetrate
the tissue as the nail growns, where germs, which are
in adundant supply, can then infect the wound.
The toe quickly becomes red and painful, and very tender
to the touch.
At this stage it is much better to seek professional
help than to leave it alone, and hope for the best,
or "hack at it" yourself and make things worse.
Will it hurt having the infected toenail treated? Yes,
it will, but the pain will only get worse if nothing
is done about it professionally.