Of all the foot deformities and conditions that can occur, an ingrown toenail is one of the most common conditions seen by podiatrists. It usually affects the big toe, but can affect other toes as well. While the condition is sometimes thought to be hereditary, it is often caused by wearing poorly fitting shoes, improper nail care, and sometimes by fungal nail infections which can induce the side of the nail to grow into the skin on the edge of the toe.
Treatments for ingrown toenails
If the ingrown toenail is not too severe, then soaking the foot in a warm salt bath will help to eliminate some of the pain and inflammation while also keeping the area clean and helping to avoid any additional bacterial contamination. You can try to lift up the edge of the nail and insert a small piece of cotton to gently support the nail edge away from the skin. If you don’t notice any improvement after several days of home remedies and the pain and inflammation are getting worse, it may be necessary to see your foot doctor for relief. In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove part of the nail or nail bed to avoid future problems.
Prevention of ingrown toenails
Cutting your toenails straight across, rather than on a curve, will help prevent the edge of the nail from getting a toe hold, so to speak. Make sure your shoes have ample room in the toe box area to avoid any extra pressure on the toes. It is because of the lack of toe room that high heeled shoes are notorious for causing ingrown toenails, and should be worn only occasionally.
If you are experiencing problems with ingrown toenails, schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. 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!