How to Prevent Ingrowing Infected Toenails

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How to Prevent Ingrowing Infected Toenails

An ingrown toenail can happen to any toe. An ingrowing toenail is when the side(s) of a toenail grows directly into the surrounding skin of the toe. This condition can be severely painful and can cause redness, swelling and drainage from the toe.

Here are some tips to help prevent ingrown toenails from occurring. Please keep your feet healthy and reduce your risk of an ingrown toenail.

  • Trim your toenails on a monthly basis. It is important to keep your toenail from growing over the end of your toe. Trimming toenails straight across is the safest way to trim. I do recommend finding a certified pedicurist if you feel self- trimming your toenails is difficult. 
  • Get fitted for shoes. Ill-fitting shoes can cause pressure on your feet, especially your toes. Your shoes need to allow your toes room to move and breath comfortably. Your toes should come close to the end, but not actually touch the end of your shoe. Find a professional at specialty shoe stores that can properly measure your feet.
  • Avoid injuries. Something as simple as someone stepping on your toenail or dropping something on your toe can cause and ingrown nail, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid pointy toed shoes. This uncomfortable trend continues to be a common cause of many foot ailments, including ingrown toenails. High heels often have small and pointy toe boxes, which squeeze your toes together. Heels also angle your feet so that your body pushes down upon your toes in overwhelming amounts of pressure.
  • Treat your feet like your face. You should scrub your feet and toes at least once a day. Wash with soap and luke warm water. Also, dry your feet completely, especially between your toes. Lastly, moisturize your feet and toes twice daily with lotion or oils. 
  • Avoid “Home Surgery”. Many people try to cut out an ingrown nail themselves. This will actually make the problem worse will cause more pain and infections.

Ingrown toenails are not only painful, but if you leave them without treatment then it may result in an infection. Also, the skin on your toes can begin to grow over your toenail. In severe cases, where ingrown toenails lack treatment in a timely manner, they can result in serious infections and the ingrown portion of your nail may need to be surgically removed which is a simple procedure. If you experience an ingrown toenail, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.