Ingrown toenails are a common condition that we treat at the Foot & Ankle Center.
Your toenails are supposed to grow straight out, but sometimes a toenail will start to curve as it grows out, and the corners or sides of that nail may start to dig into the soft tissue around the nail. Most of the cases we see impact the big toe, but you can get an ingrown toenail on any of your toes. The most noticeable symptom of an ingrown toenail is pain! You'll probably also notice redness and swelling and possibly some drainage around the affected nail.
Can ingrown toenails be prevented?
It depends on the cause. Sometimes ingrown toenails occur due to heredity, and you may be more susceptible if a parent had trouble with ingrown toenails. Other times an ingrown toenail could occur as the result of some sort of trauma to the foot.
How to prevent ingrown toenails:
One common cause of ingrown toenails is trimming your nails improperly. Use toenail clippers and cut your nails straight across – never curved or pointed – and use a nail file to gently smooth out any sharp corners. Another cause of ingrown toenails is shoes that don't fit properly. Avoid shoes that are pointy or too narrow in the toe, as these can cause or aggravate ingrown toenails. Also, make sure your socks are not too tight and your toes aren't crowded together.
In my next blog post, I'll discuss ways you may be able to treat ingrown toenails at home, and when you should absolutely see a podiatrist. In the mean time, if you're dealing with painful ingrown toenails, we can help. I encourage you to make an appointment.
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