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The Cardinal Sin of Ingrown Nails Part 1 of 3

What are my 3 Vices to avoid them?

An ingrown nail, deriving from the Greek word Onychocryptosis, Is one of lifes not so attractive mysteries that if you have ever experienced or continue to experience it, you would probably prefer to completely erase it from your memory, because lets face it the pain can go from zero to I volunteer this toe as tribute!


” width=”306″ height=”229″ />Ingrown nails are a common form of nail pathology. Theres a common conception that the nail itself penetrates into the paronychium (pronunced—Pa-ro-nick-ium) which is the soft tissue boarder on the sides of the nail (Fig.1), however quite often we see the soft skin over grow onto the nail, this then kick starts bacterial inflammation of the assaulted skin, and you know how the story ends. (Fig. 3)

Nail Anatomy Lateral Nail Fold

Fig.1 Nail Anatomy Lateral Nail Fold


What are the signs and symptoms?

– Discomfort & focal pain while in footwear

– Sensitivity to external pressure e.g even the weight bed sheets

– Pain along the paronychium or hyponychium ( where the skin meets the free edge of nail plate)

What are the signs if it’s infected?

Typically Local Inflammation:

– Redness

– Swelling

– Heat

– Pain

And if it’s really bad:

–  Exudate (pus) and

–  Granulomas (new tissue)

What are my Vices?

You know these 3 things were coming:

  1. Trauma — like stubbing your toe against your bed post (we know what kind of day that is), something or someone dropped on your foot, contact sports like martial arts and ball sports
  2. Footwear — Not choosing footwear that fit your feet (not your feet fitting the shoe)
  3. Incorrect cutting technique — cutting them too short, cutting & filing down the edges, if you have chipped or broken nails

Others include

– You got unlucky with the genetic lottery, or have a nail deformity from disease.

ALTHOUGH these increase the chance, the ingrown nail itself cannot occur without pressure from an external stimulus (i.e Your shoes 🙂 )

Look out for our next blog following our 5 virtues! Leave a comment below if there is anything that you would like us to discuss or if you are unsure about the topic discussed.

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Fig.3 Courtesy to Dr. Toms Foot & Ankle