Posts for: July, 2022
Are you dealing with a painful toenail? It could be an ingrown toenail.
Any ingrown toenail happens when the edge of a toenail, typically the big toenail, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, it can be pretty painful (but if you have one, we certainly don’t have to tell you). If you suspect you might have an ingrown toenail but are unsure, here’s what you should know, including telltale signs of one.
Why Do Ingrown Toenails Happen?
There are many reasons why you could be dealing with an ingrown toenail. Of course, one of the most common causes is not trimming your toenail correctly. Didn’t realize there was a right and wrong way to keep your toe? Well, there is! If you trim your nails too short or cut them at a curve (rather than straight), you may be prone to developing an ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails can also happen if you’ve recently injured the toe (even stubbing your toe counts) or if your shoes are just a little too tight.
What Are the Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail?
If you have an ingrown toenail, the first symptom you may experience is foot pain around the affected nail. The area may also be red, swollen or tender to the touch.
When Should I Call My Foot Doctor?
While soaking the toe and allowing it time to heal (you better stop wearing those tight-fitted shoes during this time!) can often be all that’s needed to manage your symptoms until the nail is healthy again, some circumstances warrant visiting us for care including,
- When at-home measures haven’t improved your symptoms within three days
- When the pain gets worse (this could be a sign of infection)
- When the toe becomes severely swollen, is warm to the touch or begins to drain pus
- If you have nerve damage in your feet, diabetes or circulation problems
If in doubt about whether you may be dealing with an ingrown toenail, call your podiatrist to find out if your symptoms warrant coming in for a consultation. If you develop increased redness and pain, fever or skin that’s warm to the touch, these are signs of an infection, and it’s important that you turn to your foot doctor immediately.
Prone to ingrown toenails? Here’s what you should know…
Let’s take a look at how to protect your ingrown toenails and when it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to treat this common foot problem,
Wear Properly Fitted Shoes
While this might seem obvious, you wouldn’t believe how many people try to cram their feet into shoes that bunch up their toes and put pressure on the nails. If you wear shoes like this, it’s time to stop. Shop for shoes with a large toe box; you should be able to wiggle your toes when wearing your shoes. Looking for new shoes? Go shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening when your feet are at the largest (yes, feet often swell throughout the day).
Trim Your Nails the Right Way
Yes, there is a right way to trim your toenails, and if you find yourself dealing with ingrown toenails throughout the year, then your trimming technique could be to blame. While you want to trim your toenails regularly, you want to ensure you aren’t trimming them too short. The nails should be level with the tips of your toes; any lower, and you risk ingrown toenails. You also should never cut or trim the edges of the nail into a curve; nails should always be cut straight across.
Protect Your Feet
Are you a powerlifter or an athlete? Do you pound the pavement or work on a construction site? Suppose your daily routine, workout or work is labor-intensive and prone to injuries. In that case, you want to ensure you wear the proper protective footwear to prevent bars, beams and other hard objects from hitting your foot, as injuries to the nail can also lead to ingrown toenails.
Know When to See a Podiatrist
While ingrown toenails can often be managed with home care, there are times when you will want to see a podiatrist for treatment. It’s time to turn to a podiatrist if,
- You have diabetes, and you develop any foot problems, including an ingrown toenail
- Your ingrown toenail becomes severely painful, swollen or red
- Pus or drainage is coming from the toenail
- You don’t know if you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail or not
- You don’t see an improvement in your symptoms within a day or two of home care
Dealing with ingrown toenails? Your podiatrist can provide your feet with the treatment they need to prevent further issues. Call yours today.