Ingrown toenails are one of the most common foot problems our patients experience. They can be extremely painful and lead to infection or other issues with the feet. Newtown Foot and Ankle Specialists are a team of podiatrists in Newtown, PA, and discuss what you can do to help avoid this condition.
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
Typically found on the big toe, an ingrown toenail occurs when the nail curves and grows into the skin beside the nail. If you have diabetes, you may be at a higher risk for them. If you notice that the skin around the nail on the toe is red, swollen, or tender to the touch, you may have an issue. As they can get infected and cause more severe complications, it’s important to get them checked out right away.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Typically, problems with ingrown toenails can be averted if you’re proactive. To start, make sure you’re trimming your toenails straight across. If you curve them to the shape of your toe, you’re more likely to have issues with ingrown toenails. Some conditions restrict blood flow to your feet and make it so you can’t trim your nails. If so, you can see your Newtown, Pennsylvania podiatrist regularly to get them trimmed.
In addition to making sure they’re trimmed straight across, you should keep your toenails at a moderate length as well. Toenails that are too short have a higher chance of being directed to grow into your skin. This is because the pressure on your toenails from your shoes may prompt the nails to grow in that direction.
Speaking of shoes, it’s important that you’re wearing shoes that actually fit you. Shoes that are too tight or pinch can drive the nails to grow into the flesh. If you have a condition that causes nerve damage in the feet, you may not even be able to feel it if this is the case. If you have this problem, look for a specialized shoe store that can help you make sure you’re getting shoes that fit the way they should.
If you’re in an industry or taking part in something that requires extra protection, make sure you take it seriously, like if you need steel-toed boots. A damaged toenail is more likely to cause an ingrown toenail when it grows back. Lastly, check your feet daily, especially if you have a condition like diabetes. You want to make sure that anything that seems out of place is checked out sooner rather than later.
Ingrown Toenail Removal at Your Newtown, Pennsylvania Podiatrist
Depending on the case, you may be able to remove the ingrown nail at home by soaking your foot in salt water and applying an over the counter antibiotic cream. If you have diabetes or this doesn’t help, call our office or schedule an appointment online. We’ll help you get your toes back to normal!