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Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are painful. It’s as simple as that. If you’ve ever experienced an ingrown toenail, you know first hand how uncomfortable they feel. Not only do you have to experience the pain of having one, but you also have to deal with having ghost symptoms. For example, you’ll be positive you are getting another ingrown toenail, but it’s just your shoe rubbing against your toe. The relief that is felt by not having an ingrown toenail can only be known from the memory or fear of having one.

Why Do I Get Ingrown Nails?

Cutting nails wrong. Getting ingrown nails is an easy mistake if you are cutting your toenails wrong. While rounded nails may seem fashionable, it is better to cut straight across to avoid angling the nail into the skin.

Poor footwear. Though shoes can cause ghost-like symptoms, they can cause ingrown nails as well. It is important to choose footwear that doesn’t put too much pressure on your toes, high heels are one example.

Injuries. An ingrown toenail may also be the result of an injury, like stubbing your toe, dropping something on it, or repeated movements using your feet. For example, some athletes are more prone to developing an ingrown toenail due to the requirements of their sports. Soccer players, ballerinas, and football players are all at higher risk. The pressure and trauma on their toes ultimately leads to the beginning of an ingrown toenail.

How Do I Know if I Have an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail, usually found on the big toe, will make the skin around it feel tender or hard. You may even notice some fluid building up around the nail. If not treated, an infection may develop and cause puss to drain from the area. It is important to treat an ingrown toenail as untreated nails may result in necessary surgical treatment.

How Can I Treat a Non-Infected Ingrown Toenail at Home?

Soaking your feet can help relieve some of the pain and fluid build-up around the toenail and help soften it away from the skin. You can also try pushing the toe away from the skin with a cotton ball or dental floss. If you are worried about infection, use a topical antibiotic to prevent it. While home remedies are helpful and can relieve pain, not everybody reacts to the treatments. You may need to see a doctor or podiatrist.

How Can a Doctor Help with Ingrown Toenails?

Doctors who are specialized in foot care can help elevate the nail and will sometimes use a split to protect it. You might get a sort of pedicure and have your nail filed to change its growing shape. The doctor may have to remove some extra tissue around the skin, which is more likely to build up if you do not properly care for the ingrown at home or if you take to long to visit the doctor if home remedies don’t help. Typically, if home remedies have no effect after three days, you should see a doctor. In the worst-case scenario, surgery can be required for ingrown toenails.

Fight Ingrown Nails

If you’ve had one ingrown toenail, it’s safe to assume you don’t want to relive the experience. You can prevent ingrown nails by properly clipping your nails, wearing sturdy shoes that don’t add too much pressure to your toes, and keeping your clean feet and dry. If you do have an ingrown toenail situation, visit East Idaho Foot Clinic and Dr. Cooper will help you get the treatment you need.