With temps recently plummeting here in the northeast, the days of wearing open-toed shoes and bare are gone, and our feet are now trapped in cold weather footwear. And with the colder weather comes a host of common foot issues; one of those is ingrown toenails. While many think ingrown toenails are more common in summer, today Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center are explaining why they see more cases in the colder months and how you can prevent them.
Why do ingrown toenails develop?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of your toenail grow into your flesh instead of up and over it. This condition most often affects the big toe, but it can develop in your smaller toes as well.
Here are some common reasons why ingrown toenails occur.
- Not cutting the nails straight across.
- Trimming the nails too short.
- Injury to the toe.
- Having toenails that are overly curved.
- Wearing footwear that crams your toes.
How can you protect your feet during colder months?
Now that we’ve discussed why ingrown toenails are more common during the colder months, let’s talk about how you can prevent them.
Footwear: Because tight footwear is one of the leading reasons that ingrown toenails develop, it’s important to wear shoes with spacious toe boxes, so there is space for your toes to spread out. Also, try to avoid wearing socks that are too thick and take too much space in your shoes and boots. Today there are fabrics that do the work of thicker, older fabrics but are much lighter and do a great job of wicking away moisture.
Foot Care: Another tip for avoiding ingrown toenails during the colder months is to keep doing the great care you give your feet during the summer. Because they’re not on display, it can be tempting to let your toenails grow longer. But we highly recommend you continue to trim and clean your toenails diligently during the fall and winter months.
If you do experience an ingrown toenail, contact us right away so we can quickly fix the problem and help you keep your feet dry and warm this winter.
To learn more about preventing ingrown toenails this season or for treatment of an existing ingrown toenail, reach out to the experienced team at Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. Click here to locate contact information for the office nearest you.