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Ingrown Toenails (Onychocryptosis, Unguis Incarnatus)

Ingrown Toenails Overview

An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnatus, is a painful condition of the toe. It occurs when a sharp corner of the toenail digs into the skin at the end of or side of the toe. Pain and inflammation at the spot where the nail curls into the skin occurs first. Later, the inflamed area can begin to grow extra tissue or drain yellowish fluid.

  • If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can progress to an infection or even an abscess that requires surgical treatment. Osteomyelitis is a rare complication of an infected toe, in which the bone itself becomes infected.
  • Ingrown toenails are common in adults and adolescents but uncommon in children and infants. They are more common in men than in women. Young adults in their 20s or 30s are most at risk.
  • Any toenail can become ingrown, but the condition is usually found in the big toe.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/17/2015

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Ingrown Toenails - Effective Treatment

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What causes an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail can have a number of different causes. Cutting your toenail too short or rounding the edge of the nail can cause it to grow into the skin. Wearing shoes or socks that don't fit well can also cause an ingrown toenail. If your shoes are too tight, they might press the nail into the toe and cause it to grow into the skin.

You can get an ingrown toenail if you hurt your toe, such as stubbing it. This can cause the nail to grow inward. Repeating an activity that injuries the nail, such as kicking a soccer ball, can also cause an ingrown nail.

SOURCE: Healthwise

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Toenail, Ingrown »

Ingrown toenails (unguis incarnatus) are a common toenail problem of uncertain etiology.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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