Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnatus, occur when the toenail grows into the skin. It can cause discomfort or pain and swelling, depending on the severity. It is commonly seen in the big toe, but can also affect the other toes.
Ingrown toenails are categorized into the following types:
Distal nail embedding
This is the type of ingrown toenail where nail growth is restricted due to the presence of a band of tissue, called hyponychium, It is usually a type of congenital deformity. It may also occur when the nail was completely removed in the past.
Subcutaneous ingrown toenail
This is when the toenail grows under the skin, causing pain and inflammation.
Hypertrophy of lateral nail-fold
In this case, the skin tissue grows abnormally over the toe. When this happens, the toenail grows wider than it should and does not have enough space to grow outward. The nail will start growing into the skin on the sides of the toe.
Neonatal ingrown toenail
This affects 2% of the new born babies. The nail comes out extremely short and it looks like the nail is growing into the skin of the toe. This is usually not painful
Ingrown toenails have several causes. It could be hereditary or genetic. There are cases when ingrown toenail run in the family and some people are born with larger than normal toenails.
Footwear can also cause ingrown toenails. Shoes that are too tight put pressure on the toenail and pushes it into the toe. This can cause the toenail to grow into the skin. Other instances that causes trauma on the toenail, such as an injury, can cause ingrown toenails. The toenail can break and cause it to grow abnormally.
If you have an ingrown toenail, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our foot doctors. We have over 50 clinics in the US, including Weymouth, MA.