Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Ingrown toenails are a very common problem
affecting primarily the great toenail. They are caused by sideways growth of the
nail edge into the skin of the toe. The abnormal extension of the toenail pushes
into the surrounding skin causing discomfort. Normal toenail growth should be
vertical or outward toward the tip of the toe. The medical term for ingrown
toenail is onychocryptosis.
Symptoms of ingrown toenails are sore, often painful, nail
folds with various degrees of redness, swelling, and sometimes clear or yellow
drainage. Frequently, ingrown toenails resolve without medical treatment.
Complicated cases may require treatment by a physician.
The sideways growing portion of nail acts like
a foreign body and pokes into or pinches off a small piece of skin at the outer
edge of the toe. This may cause a break in the skin, causing inflammation and
possibly infection. The inflammation often causes more thickening of the nail
skin fold, further exacerbating the problem. The protruding piece of nail keeps
pushing into the skin, causing further injury and pain.
Are some people more prone to ingrown toenails?
Some people are simply more
prone to ingrown toenails. Some risk factors include