Prevention of Ingrown Toenails

Monday, 05 February 2018 00:00

If you’re experiencing red and swollen skin around the nails of the foot, you may have an ingrown toenail. This painful condition often causes an infection and may require removal of the nail. Typically this is caused by the toenails being improperly cut and tight shoes possibly causing pressure, cramping the toes, and cutting the skin. Observing good hygiene may be a preventive measure to aid avoiding an ingrown toenail, and this consists of changing the socks and shoes daily. Additionally, wearing open-toed sandals in warm weather may also aid in preventing this condition. When you initially realize an ingrown toenail may be present, an option for relief may be to apply a moisturizer around the nail which may soften the skin. It’s crucial to cut the toenails properly, and the method to correctly accomplish this is to cut straight across the nail so the corners can be seen. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper evaluation, to learn how to trim the toenails correctly, and to fix your ingrown toenail.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Gary Prant of Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Austin, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
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