Ingrown toenails are frequently seen on the big toe, but other toes are also susceptible. When the corner or edge of your toenail grows sideways and pushes into your skin instead of alongside or over the top of it, an ingrown toenail can occur with the corresponding severe pain, swelling, and possible infection.
4 signs and causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Improper nail cutting—Since this is the main cause of ingrown toenails, be sure to cut your nails straight across or on a slight curve, and not too short.
- They can be inherited—Developing ingrown toenails may be all in the family! Thanks, mom!
- Redness, pain, and oozing—The tender skin at the edge of the nail will appear red and inflamed, with an oozing, sometimes foul-smelling discharge.
- Tightly fitting shoes—Shoes that scrunch your toes together like high heels can cause your toenails to push into your skin.
Treatment and prevention of ingrown toenails
Soaking the foot in warm, soapy water can help to soften the nail and decrease some of the pain and inflammation. Toe spacers can help isolate an infected toe and prevent additional stress and pressure on the nail. Wash your feet daily and use anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cream or ointment to prevent spreading.
To help prevent an ingrown toenail from occurring in the first place, always cut your toenails as straight as possible and make them a little long so they can’t get under your skin.
If you are experiencing complications with ingrown toenails, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!