Ingrown toenails are extremely painful and, if not treated early, can require surgery. Although they can be hereditary, ingrown toenails are often caused by improper nail and foot care. Ill-fitting shoes, cutting toenails too short, and foot injuries can all cause your nail to grow into the surrounding flesh, rather than over it. These tips on correct toenail care can help you prevent an ingrown toenail:
- Always trim your toenails straight across. Use toenail clippers to cut the nail and then use a nail file to remove any sharp corners. Avoid cutting your toenails in a curve to match the shape of your toe because it can cause your nails to grow into the skin surrounding your nail.
- Keep your toenails even with the end of your toes. If they are too long, they will rub on the end of your shoe and become irritated. If they are too short, the pressure from your shoe may push them into the tissue.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit properly. Your toes need adequate room to move in the front of your shoe. If your shoe is too narrow or too small, your toenails do not have enough room to grow properly. If you must wear high heels or any other uncomfortable type of shoe, bring more practical shoes with you to wear whenever possible.
- Protect your feet from trauma by wearing the proper shoes. If you work in construction or are involved in sports, wear the correct shoes for the activity. If you are not wearing protective shoes, your toenail may be hit and become lodged in the skin around your nail.
If your toenail feels hard, swollen, or tender, you may have an ingrown toenail. It is best to wear open-toed shoes for several days to prevent any more damage to the nail. If the pain persists, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. All South Bay Footcare in the Los Angeles area can treat your ingrown toenail and prevent it from returning. Call (310) 986-2925 or visit us on the web for more information about our services.