Ingrown toenails are painful, and the throbbing and pressure they cause can make each step unbearable. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding ingrown toenails that all runners should be aware of.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Though they seem to appear out of nowhere, there are a few things that can trigger an ingrown toenail. One of the most common causes is shoes that are too tight on the toe, like high heels that force pressure on the front of your foot.
Running automatically elevates your risk. Any activity that puts repetitive pressure on the nail in the shoe, such as biking, running, or other sports, can put you at a higher risk for an ingrown nail.
Treatment for Ingrown Toenails
There are a few ways to try to relieve the symptoms at home. Soaking feet in warm water with Epsom salts and then gently massaging them may provide short-term relief from inflamed tissue.
You can also try repairing an ingrown toenail using a topical treatment. Over-the-counter, topical medications work to soften the nail or skin, and NSAIDs should provide pain relief.
A word of caution – don’t postpone getting your feet examined if your ingrown nail doesn’t appear to be improving after a few days of treating it on your own. If the issue is not improving, see your podiatrist for professional care. This is especially the case if there’s any drainage that looks like pus, if there’s redness to the toe, or if you experience fever, nausea, or chills.
Podiatrists agree that it’s not smart to play doctor and perform “surgery” on your ingrown toenail. Repetitive cutting and digging of the nail can worsen the ingrown toenail. If you have a chronic ingrown toenail, you may want to talk to your podiatrist about a procedure to permanently stop them from happening.
Preventing an Ingrown Toenail
The most important thing you can do to stop ingrown toenails from occurring is to wear shoes that fit properly with sufficient width in the toe box. Also, socks that don’t overly compress the toes can help.
Cutting your toenails correctly can also help reduce your risk of getting an ingrown nail. They are less likely to occur if your nails are cut straight across with no angles.
If you’re a runner, you know that proper foot health is key to your endurance. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of an ingrown toenail or any other condition that affects your feet – don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule your appointment online.