Open sore and swelling next to nail. Ingrown or not?
Hey, I just recently developed a moderately painful open sore just inside the skin right next to my toenail. It's swollen over the nail and looks like an ingrown nail, but I'm not sure. It came on surprisingly quickly.
I have a theory for how it happened. I had trimmed my toenails a couple days before I mowed the lawn last weekend. I'll admit, I trimmed the nail of my big toe a little bit far to the side, but not all that far down. However, that would create a sharp edge to that nail pointing straight at my skin.
Now, I went outside to mow the lawn in a pair of tight shoes I need to replace. It took twenty minutes, and I noticed, but thought nothing much of, pain in the side of my big toe. I thought I had just scrunched it up too much.
But just a day later, it swelled up and began to hurt a lot more. I began to suspect an ingrown nail, but a couple days later, the swelling's gone slightly down, but there's a rather unsightly open sore where the nail meets the skin. If I press in, it hurts. If I pull it away, I feel relief.
What I really think happened was that when I mowed the lawn in my tight shoes, I dug that sharp edge of the nail (from cutting it a bit too low at the side) into the skin, and now I'm suffering the resulting injury from that.
I've been regularly washing it with alcohol and applying antibiotic gel, and there's no sign of infection yet. What I want to know is..is there a chance it's ingrown? I can't imagine why it would be, but I've read that wearing tight shoes cause them. Though I believe that's more of a long term thing, not "Wear tight shoes for twenty minutes, congratulations on your new ingrown nail".
It definitely has the appearance of an ingrown nail due to the swelling over the side, but if I pull the skin back, I can see the edge of the nail. Do I have anything to worry about, or should I just keep it clean, exposed to the air (I'd rather not smother it in bandaids and socks) and let it heal as the nail grows back? It's going to be a challenge keeping off the toe and making sure I don't bump it into anything, or I'll risk opening the wound again. Any advice would be great.
Last edited by SubTonic; 08-08-2011 at 08:44 AM.