An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which a side or corner of a toenail grows down into the skin of the toe. This can produce significant foot pain and swelling around the affected toe. Below, learn more about this subject with answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about ingrown toenails.
Answers to Common Questions About Ingrown Toenails
What causes ingrown toenails?
All ingrown nails are caused by the edge of the nail growing downward into the skin rather than growing outward horizontally. There are a few different reasons this can happen, including cutting nails too short or with overly round edges. Restrictive shoes or tight hosiery can also lead to ingrown toenails.
Are certain people at greater risk?
People with diabetes are more prone to infections and complications since high blood sugar can restrict blood flow to the feet and deaden the nerves that signal foot pain. Also, people who frequently wear high heels and athletes who wear improperly fitting shoes tend to experience more frequent ingrown toenails.
How can I prevent them?
First, cut your toenails straight across. Don't clip the sharp corners of your nails. Instead, file them lightly with a nail filer. You should also wear shoes that don't compress the toes. There should be enough room for you to wiggle your toes freely. Make sure stockings, pantyhose, and socks have a slight amount of stretch to them so that they don't constrict the feet.
How are ingrown toenails treated?
The treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, you can sometimes treat an ingrown nail at home by regularly soaking the affected foot and carefully pushing the skin back from the nail. However, it's important to see a podiatrist for any ingrown nail issue, especially one that causes significant foot pain.
A podiatrist will prescribe an exact course of treatment. For more serious cases, they might perform an in-office procedure that removes the ingrown part of the nail. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the skin around the nail has become infected.
If you're dealing with an ingrown toenail or foot pain, make it a priority to see a foot specialist. Foot & Ankle Specialists in Blue Ash, OH, serves patients throughout the area with reliable treatments. They treat a wide variety of foot conditions, including ingrown nails, hammertoes, and bunions. Call (513) 769-4408 or visit them online for more information.