You have been walking around for a while with a toe where you can actually feel your heartbeat. It is sore and red and if you put on your shoes you want to cry.
At the side of your nail you see some white yucky stuff coming out. You want to squeeze your toe to get it out, but it is too sore.
What is going on? You remember you have cut your nails very short the last time and now this happens....
Well, unfortunately you have an ingrown toenail.
How did it happen?
An ingrown toenail happens when one or both sides of the nail starts pushing into the skin. It is made worse by the bacteria that is found on your feet.
Most of the time the reason why you will get an ingrown nail is because you cut it too short or you tear it off instead of cutting in neatly.
There are also other causes like wearing shoes that are fitting too tightly. This can actually push the sides of the toe together and force the nail to grow inwards.
You can also get it from doing the same action on the same part of your foot or toe over and over, like kicking a ball.
What do I do now?
If you catch an ingrown toenail in time you will be able to do something about it. If you wait too long, you will have to go to the doctor so that he can pull off the toenail or cut off a piece of it.
It will seem silly to visit the doctor for something not life threatening or something that has not made you ill, but if you are going to ignore it, it will get worse and you will end up in more and more pain.
You can go and search your own videos on how ingrown toenails are removed by the doctor. Beware, it is gross and looks very sore, so I suggest that taking care of your feet is a much better idea than ending up with going through something like this.
So start off by trying to fix it at home
It is always better to try and prevent it rather than trying to fix it.
There are different ways in which you can prevent an ingrown toenail. First of all obviously taking care of how you cut your nails. Do not cut it too short. Try and cut it straight and not in a rounded shape.
Watch the video for other ideas on how to prevent ingrown toenails
What other things can happen to my toes and feet that I need to be aware of?
Maybe your mom has told you since you were small that you do not shower in a public bathroom without flip flops on. You did not see the use for it and before you knew it you were walking around with itchy toes and feet. Enter athlete's foot. Fungus and bacteria love to live on our feet because it is moist and dark and warm, the same as what a shower is and it can easily be spread from one foot to another.
There are quite a few things that can be wrong with your feet and toes. Read the link for more information on different types of foot problems https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/8_common_foot_problems
The most important thing to remember is that problems of your feet can be because of an underlying illness like diabetes. If you are experiencing pain in your feet or seeing any changes or something growing, that you do not know the cause, it is always a good idea to visit the doctor and get tested for other illnesses. Your feet can reveal a lot about your health