How To Avoid Those Painful Ingrown Toenails
Keeping your toes and toenails healthy can be quite challenging. Spending a lot of time on your feet, foot fungus, and conditions like diabetes can all have an effect on the health of your toenails, in some cases leading to pain and discomfort. Today, Dr. William Buffone of North Fork Podiatry/Three Village Podiatry is discussing the most common toenail condition he sees - ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails can be an annoyance, but fortunately they’re easy to treat and even easier to avoid. Read on to learn more about the causes of ingrown toenails, treatment options, and how to avoid them.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail grows into the fleshy part of the toe. It typically affects the big toe causing pain, redness, discomfort, swelling, and bleeding. In some cases, it can even make walking difficult.
There are over 3 million cases of ingrown toenails reported each year, and most of them can be treated by trimming toenails straight across, wearing comfortable shoes, and occasionally by taking antibiotics to treat more severe infections.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
While many ingrown toenails are caused by footwear that is too tight, infections, impact-related foot injuries, and incorrect foot structure, a large number of them are caused by improper trimming of the toenails.
If you trim your toenails really short with rounded corners, your toenails can become slightly sharp on the sides, resulting in irritation and rubbing when the toenail digs into the flesh. When toenails are cut this way, there is also a higher chance of the nail twisting, which can lead to directional growth.
How can you avoid ingrown toenails?
This condition can be hereditary, so for some the occasional ingrown toenail might be unavoidable. Some feet are more disposed to ingrown toenails than others. But there are many steps that can be taken to decrease the risk of ingrown toenails, other than just proper toenail trimming.
While leaving nails a bit longer than usual might seem awkward at first, it considerably reduces the probability of developing an ingrown toenail. Keeping feet clean is also crucial for avoiding ingrown toenails. Wearing socks and shoes that fit correctly will also keep the stress off your toes that can often cause this condition.
If you’re experiencing discomfort and pain from an ingrown toenail, or seem to be getting them frequently, it’s time to take action by scheduling an appointment. Dr. William Buffone and his team at North Fork Podiatry/Three Village Podiatry can help you with your ingrown toenail issues so you can get back on your feet and live a happier, healthier life.