Ingrown toenails are a common and sometimes painful condition in which the edges of a nail grow into the surrounding skin instead of over it. This leads to tenderness, swelling, redness, and pain. In some cases, the area can even become infected. One of the main causes of ingrown toenails is trimming the toenails incorrectly. When you trim your toenails, you should use a nail clipper rather than scissors. Trim the nails straight across and not too short. Though it may be tempting for aesthetic reasons, do not round the edges of your toenails with clippers, scissors, or a nail file. Rounded edges make ingrown nails more likely. To complement your properly trimmed toenails, wear comfortable shoes with a wide toe box. Tight, narrow, or pointy-toed shoes can squish the toes together and push the nails into the surrounding skin. To learn more about how to prevent ingrown toenails, please speak with a podiatrist.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Kenneth J. D'Ortone, DPM of Center for Foot and Ankle Excellence. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- 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
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.
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 Philadelphia, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care