An ingrown toenail is a nail that has grown into the adjacent skin on the toe, so the skin overlaps the nail. Ingrown toenails can be painful, as they put pressure into the skin.
An ingrown toenail can also become infected. If your affected toe begins to turn red, become swollen, or feel warm or painful, chances are it has become infected.
With the pain, discomfort, and risk of infection that comes with ingrown toenails, care should be taken to prevent it from happening. Let’s talk about a few tips for preventing ingrown toenails, and where you can go in St. Charles County for outstanding podiatry.
How Can I Prevent Ingrown Toenails?
Trim toenails straight across, and not too short. Improper trimming of toenails can cause them to become ingrown. The proper way to trim toenails is straight across, and not curved. (If the pointed edge at the end of the nail bothers you, you can round it out with a nail file.)
Also when trimming your toenails, try to avoid cutting the nails too short. Otherwise, the skin surrounding the nail can grow over the nail edge, and pressure from your shoes will encourage the nail to grow into the skin.
Wear proper-fitting shoes. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight and pinch your toes. Excess pressure from tight shoes can encourage the skin to grow over the edge of the nail. Choose a shoe with a wider toe box which lets your toes move around a bit inside.
Get in the habit of checking your feet regularly. An ingrown toenail will feel hard, swollen, and tender to the touch. There are medical conditions that can increase your risk of developing ingrown toenails, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, which all affect circulation.
The tendency to develop ingrown toenails is usually inherited. If it is a problem for your parents or siblings, chances are it will become a problem for you, too. If you notice pain, redness, and/or swelling in your toes or feet, see a podiatrist for proper treatment and prevention of the issue.
Podiatry in St. Peters, O’Fallon, and Wentzville, Missouri
If you have an ingrown toenail, leave it to a foot and ankle doctor or podiatrist to take care of it. Podiatrists can effectively treat ingrown toenails, guide you on how to safely address them yourself, and help you reduce your risk of developing them again.
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Anthony Lombardo, can successfully treat a wide range of foot and ankle conditions – including ingrown toenails. He can explain why it likely happened in your case, and how you can prevent it from occurring again.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lombardo or with any of our skilled orthopedic doctors, call us today at (636) 229-4222 or fill out our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get your feet back into perfect shape.