How to Avoid Ingrown Toenails

If you’ve ever had a painful ingrown toenail, one thing is certain: You don’t want another one. The good news is you can do things to prevent getting them. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates explains what you can do to prevent getting ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails 101

An ingrown toenail occurs when a toenail grows into any part of the skin surrounding it. In some cases, this may cause infection and swelling. Ingrown toenails almost always cause pain, even if there’s no infection. You may see pus develop under the swollen area, but it’s important not to pop the swelling. Instead, you should see Dr. Berg, so she can treat your ingrown toenail.

Once you get an ingrown toenail, your chances of getting another one may increase. That’s why it’s important to pay extra attention to foot care, so you can try to prevent it. Doing the following things may help keep you from getting ingrown toenails.

Trim your nails the right way

How you trim your nails plays a significant role in keeping your toes free from ingrown toenails. A common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting your nails too short, unevenly, or in a rounded shape. The best way to trim your nails is to cut them straight across, without taking off too much of the nail. 

Wear the right shoes

Your choice of footwear plays a significant role in your foot health, and wearing the wrong shoes can lead to many types of foot problems. 

When it comes to avoiding ingrown toenails, wear shoes that have plenty of room in the toe area. Avoid shoes that pinch your toes together, such as high heels. The pressure caused by these types of shoes can make ingrown toenails more likely to occur.

Wear protective footwear when appropriate

Trauma, such as dropping something on your foot, is another common cause of ingrown toenails. If you work in an environment where this is a concern, guard your feet by wearing protective shoes, such as steel-toed boots.

Regularly examine your feet if you have diabetes

People with diabetes are prone to have more problems with their foot health. This is because high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage in the feet, which can result in a loss of feeling.

When it comes to ingrown toenails, you should check your feet often to make sure none of your nails begin to put pressure on the surrounding skin. If you don’t check your feet, an ingrown toenail may develop and you may not feel it. You should also make sure to keep your feet clean and dry and wear appropriate shoes.

If you have an ingrown toenail, Dr. Berg can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.

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