Ingrown Toenails: Frequently Asked Questions

9 November 2021
 Categories: , Blog

An ingrown toenail is a condition that arises when the corner or side of the nail penetrates into the skin of your toe. This mostly affects the big toenail. Here is some basic information on ingrown toenails. 

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

A variety of things can cause ingrown toenails. These include trauma, poorly fitting shoes, and improper trimming of nails.

Trauma like repeated pressure on your toe or dropping something on your toe can lead to an ingrown toenail. Also, pointed and high heel shoes exert too much pressure on your toes, causing them to compress. As a result, your toenails have nowhere to go except in the flesh of your foot. Additionally, cutting your nails too rounded or too short puts you at risk of an ingrown nail.

How Is an Ingrown Toenail Treated?

Before you receive treatment for an ingrown toenail, your doctor will have a close look at your toe and toenail. The doctor will review your medical history for issues like whether you get ingrown toenails often or whether you have diabetes. People with diabetes are at risk of getting complications from ingrown toenails. 

You can use topical antibiotics for mild ingrown toenails and push the overgrown skin gently from the toenail. For serious cases, your doctor will use oral antibiotics. If the ingrown toenail is resistant, you will have to go through an in-office surgical procedure to get rid of the nail from the surrounding skin. After the procedure, wound care is important to prevent infection while you are healing.

How Can You Prevent an Ingrown Toenail?

The first tip on preventing ingrown toenails is minding how you cut your nails. Avoid short nails. Also, make sure you cut your nails horizontally.

Another tip is to avoid putting too much pressure on the toe area. If your toes are involved in a lot of action, it is important to give them some breathing space. This applies to people who are involved in activities such as running and soccer. Lastly, ensure you wear shoes that fit properly. If the shoes are too tight, you stand the risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

In Conclusion

Consult a foot doctor if you think your ingrown toenail is too serious to be treated at home. An ingrown toenail can lead to a deeper infection in your skin and underlying bone if not treated. Complications can be serious for people with diabetes.

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