As many patients know, having an ingrown toenail can be extremely painful, and can often make completing everyday activities more difficult. To help prevent developing this uncomfortable condition, it’s important that certain precautions are taken while cutting your toenails. The first step for proper trimming starts with your technique. Nails should be trimmed straight across, avoiding making them rounded. They should also be trimmed just enough that the corners loosely sit on the skin, and not too short where they begin to dig into the skin. You also want to make sure that the clippers you’re using to trim your nails are specifically designed for the purpose of trimming toenails. Some signs that may indicate you’ve developed an ingrown toenail can include redness surrounding the skin of the affected toe, swelling, pain, and in more severe cases, you may notice pus around the nail. In order to safely treat an ingrown toenail, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and attention.
Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.
- Bacterial infections
- Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
- Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
- Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
- Genetic predisposition
Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.