An ingrown toenail may not seem like a big deal, but they can be quite painful! And when inflamed, they can make it exceptionally difficult to walk and usually a surgical procedure to remove the nail to avoid further damage. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing some important tips to help avoid ingrown toenails.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
In many cases, an ingrown toenail is caused by the way the toenails are cut. If they’re trimmed too short or the edges are cut too far back, the skin can grow over the nail and dig into the skin. But while this is a common cause, it’s not the only reason why people develop ingrown toenails.
If you frequently wear tight socks, stockings, tights, or shoes, you’re putting more pressure on the skin surrounding the toenail and probably pushing it against the sharp edges of your nails.
Many people develop an ingrown nail following an injury to the toe. For instance, if you unintentionally drop something on your toe, stub it, or join in activities where the toes are subject to continuous pressure, the nail will probably be impacted.
Dampness in the feet can also soften the skin around the nails so the skin can grow over them. If you spend a substantial amount of time in the water or experience sweaty feet, it provides for the perfect environment for a nail to grow into the skin.
How Can Ingrown Toenails Be Treated?
It’s important to try to avoid infection whenever possible, but sometimes, the nail has to be removed in order to relieve the irritation. This can be accomplished in two different ways.
Doctors will either remove part of the nail or the whole nail. Podiatrists typically prescribe antibiotics to help clear an infection after the nail has been removed, but there are still things you can do to relieve the painful symptoms before seeking professional help.
Always try to cut toenails straight, and wear shoes that let your feet breathe.
If you regularly suffer from ingrown nails but are nervous about having the nail removed, it may be worth consulting with Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.