My 14-year-old son has been treated for an ingrown toenail about six times in the past year. We have an appointment today to possibly have it permanently removed. Does the toenail on the big toe serve a specific purpose? Will he suffer any consequences by having it removed?
The toenail’s primary purpose is to protect the surface of the toe. A toenail that has been surgically removed can be expected to grow back, however. It will not be a very complicated surgery, but, to prevent ingrown toenails, cut the nails straight across – never curved as you may cut fingernails. Your son has to be sure shoes fit properly (a challenge sometimes, when children and their feet are growing quickly).
More about ingrown toenails
- Ingrown toenails is a painful medical condition. This occurs when a sharp corner of the nail digs into the skin on one side of the finger.
- Pain and inflammation on the ground is widening as the nail grows. Later in the inflamed area can grow additional tissue (skin) or to drain a yellowish liquid.
- If left untreated, it can progress to ingrown fingernail infection or abscess requiring surgical treatment. Osteomyelitis is a rare complication of the toe where this infection – characterized by the fact that the bone itself is infected;
- Ingrown toenails are common in adults, but less common in children or infants. They are more common in men than in women. Young adults aged 20-30 years are most at risk;
- Any finger nail can be embodied, but the condition is present especially the thumb.
The causes of ingrown nails
- Shoes too tight, uncomfortable or heel can compress the toes and the pressure on the nail may lead to abnormal growth thereof;
- Cutting nails inappropriate, especially the corners can raise their skin. Nails should be cut straight, not rounded;
- Various conditions such as fungal nail can cause thickening or growth in excess (extension) thereof;
- An acute trauma to the nail or anything repetitive damage your nail (like hitting the ball with the foot during a football game) can cause ingrown toenails growth;
- If the other members of the family of a person are suffering from ingrown nails, there are big chances that the person develops ingrown toenails.
- Nails of people grow normally, more rounded than others, which increases their risk of having ingrown toenails.