Preventing Ingrown Toenails 

Don’t Let An Ingrown Toenail Happen To You

Ingrown toenails occur so frequently, that chances are, one of your friends, family members, or even yourself, has probably had one before. Ingrown toenails form when the side or corner of your nail starts to grow into your skin and keeps growing until the area becomes painful, red and even infected if left untreated. Fortunately, most cases of ingrown toenails can be treated easily without further complication.

If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail before or get them frequently, consider following these podiatrist-recommended tips and tricks to prevent them from forming:

  • Clip with Caution: When you’re trimming your toenails, be careful not to cut them too short – a moderate nail length is recommended. Let your pedicurist know this as well, as some may cut the nails too short or nick the skin around the nails, opening the gateway for potential infection to infiltrate the area. Another tip is to make sure you cut straight across the nail, taking care not to leave the corners too long or sharp.
  • Select Comfortable Shoes: Although a pair of high heels might look good, if the toe area is too narrow or tight, it can cause your toes to cramp together. In turn, this can put pressure on your nails and force them to dig into the surrounding skin.
  • Protect Your Toes: If you do manual labor or heavy lifting, be sure to wear proper protective footwear, such as steel-toe boots. Toe injuries can sometimes lead to ingrown nails, so taking extra precaution will come in handy in the event that something falls on your foot.
  • Stay Aware: Throughout the day, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your toenails. However, inspecting your feet regularly allows you to catch an ingrown toenail early on. This is especially important for people who are predisposed to having curved nails, foot infections and/or poor foot circulation.

Everyone can benefit from taking precautionary measures to keep your feet happy and healthy, but if you’re prone to frequent foot infections or have a condition that causes poor circulation and loss of feeling in your feet, such as diabetes, then you’d do well to incorporate these preventative tips into your daily routine.

Check In With Your Doctor

Despite your efforts, if you do happen to get an ingrown toenail and/or infection, contact Dr. Donna Barrese right away to receive the proper treatment. If left untreated, the infection can become extremely painful and can spread to your bone or cause other serious complications. Schedule regular checkups to make sure that you – and your feet – are on the right track.