Colder months often lead to wearing too comfy of footwear which can sometimes be constricting. Read on to learn more about common things to avoid in order to prevent ingrown toenails.
Your toenails can tell us a lot about the overall health of your feet and sometimes even your body. The big toe is the most important toe of the foot because it is the joint that propels us forward while walking. Unfortunately, the big toe is the most common toe to develop an ingrown toenail. An ingrown toenail is a nail that starts to grown inward, towards the skin. This can often be very painful and can lead to an infection if left untreated.
How do I prevent an ingrown toenail? Wear wider shoes. Give your toes plenty of wiggle room. If your shoes are too tight or narrow, it could lead to ingrown toenails. The pressure from the sides of the shoes being too close to your skin, causes the outer skin of the toe to push into the nail. Over time, this pressure and restriction is encouraging your nails to grow into the skin. Ow! Avoid this pain by wearing shoes that allow you to move your toes. Another thing you can do to prevent ingrown toenails is to trim your nails straight across. It’s ok to trim or file the corners a little bit but don’t go down the sides of the nails. Trimming the sides of the nails only encourages your toenails to grow out that direction. Lastly, treat your feet by soaking them in epsom salt occasionally.
Do you think you have an ingrown toenail? Have the ingrown toenail removed by a professional. Don’t attempt to do this yourself. If you trim your own ingrown toenails, they will continue to form. When is it time to see a podiatrist for an ingrown toenail? If you have pain or redness that comes and goes or is constant, it’s time to come in. If you notice the skin around the nail changing color, this can also be a sign that it’s time to make an appointment. It’s important to come see us before the ingrown toenail turns into an infection. If an infection occurs or there’s overgrowth of the tissue (granuloma), you may need an antibiotic.
At Howard County Foot and Ankle, we treat everything from ingrown toenails and warts to flatfeet and heel pain. Many people come to us for diabetic foot care or simply because they have foot pain or ankle pain and don’t know the cause of it. We handle emergencies such as fractures and infections as well. Dr. Bui performs a wide variety of surgeries and specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. You won’t find a better foot doctor than our highly skilled and highly qualified, Dr. Christina Bui! Call or email us to ask any questions you might have. We would love to be your go-to Podiatrist!