The pain, redness, tenderness, and swelling of an ingrown toenail can be quite debilitating. Not only are they unattractive, but they also really hurt! Ingrown toenails are particularly problematic for women, who have almost four times as many foot problems as men over their lifetimes. This may largely be due to the fact that high heeled shoes force the toes into a tight area, increasing the pressure on the sides of the nail.
How to prevent ingrown toenails:
- Daily foot inspections—One of the best ways to avoid ingrown toenail complications is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This can be accomplished by looking for the initial signs of redness and tenderness at the edges of the nail where the skin touches the nail.
- Proper nail cutting—Be sure to cut your toenails straight across rather than on a curve. The curved edges are more likely to advance into your skin causing pain and discomfort and the possibility of an ingrown toenail fungal infection.
- Proper footwear—Your shoes need to have ample room in the toebox area to avoid crowding your toes together and increasing the pressure on the edges of your nails. Not wearing or limiting high heeled shoes can make a big difference in avoiding many toe and nail problems.
In many instances, ingrown toenails won’t heal by themselves and may become infected, so be sure to enlist the help of your foot care professional. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists uses advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle issues, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide expert podiatric care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.