An ingrown toenail is a common foot ailment that affects the nail bed of one or more of your toenails. Symptoms often include redness, pain, and swelling around the edges or corners of a toenail, which can become infected if not treated properly. Most people with ingrown toenails develop them due to too long toenails and shoes or other footwear that presses the toenails into the skin. A person with healthy feet can develop an ingrown toenail. Still, it is more common in those who wear poorly fitted shoes, walk barefoot over sharp objects like gravel or pebbles repeatedly or have an underlying medical condition. If you have an ingrown toenail, you should seek treatment from a Midtown East ingrown toenail specialist. This article looks at the different ways you can prevent an ingrown toenail.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
One of the most effective ways to prevent an ingrown toenail is wearing shoes that fit correctly. Make sure you buy a pair of shoes big enough for your feet to move in and then wear them in gradually. If you have a job or hobby that requires you to walk over gravel or other hard surfaces, consider wearing protective footwear that covers your toes, like steel-toe boots or shoes that are designed for rugged use.
Avoid Going Barefoot
It can be tempting to kick off your uncomfortable shoes at the end of a long day, but doing this puts you at risk of developing an ingrown toenail. You should also avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as swimming pools and gyms as you could pick up a foot infection from them. This can easily pass on to your ingrown toenail and make it worse.
Avoid Trimming Your Toenails Too Short
It is important not to trim your toenails too short as this can cause the corners of the nails to dig into your skin, making them more likely to become ingrown. If you regularly experience ingrown toenails, your Midtown East podiatrist may suggest that you have a small amount of tissue removed from your sides. Your podiatrist will numb the area and then take a small section out with a scalpel before stitching it back together.
Don’t Cut Corners
It is a good idea to maintain a regular foot hygiene routine that involves removing dead skin, calluses, and anything else that builds up around your feet. Doing this can reduce the risk of developing an ingrown toenail as the tissue will not grow more quickly than usual.
Use Protective Footwear
If you are employed in a job that puts your feet at risk of injury, you mustn’t avoid investing in protective footwear. An ingrown toenail specialist can recommend suitable safety boots or shoes for different types of work. If you do not have the proper footwear, an ingrown toenail could cause you to lose your job.
To summarize, ingrown toenails are a massive problem for many people worldwide. The good news is you can prevent them by wearing the right shoes and protective footwear. It also helps avoid going barefoot or trimming your nails too short and observe good hygiene. If you have an ingrown toenail causing you pain, you can seek treatment from an ingrown toenail specialist.