Ingrown toenails often begin gradually with only minor discomfort, but as the nail pushes further, it can cut the skin causing pain, swelling, bleeding, and bacterial and fungal infections. Any added pressure from your footwear can make it very painful to wear shoes.
Some people may inherit a tendency to have excessively curved toenails, which can make prevention and treatment of ingrown toenails more complicated, but everyone can benefit from the following 3 tips:
- Cut your toenails properly—Cutting your toenails a little long and straight across — or on just a slight curve — is preferable to close cropping, which can allow the edge of the nail to get under your skin.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes—Avoid wearing shoes that crowd your toes together (dump the pumps!). Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes with a wide toe box will give your toes room to move and help prevent the side pressure that contributes to the formation of ingrown toenails.
- Protect your feet from injury—Dropping something heavy on your toes or stubbing your toe can create a toenail injury that causes the nail to grow into the tender skin on the edge of your toe. Wear steel-toed shoes to prevent these injuries.
Sometimes an ingrown toenail just can’t be prevented, so see your foot doctor if you would like expert assistance. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, 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 high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.