Ingrown toenails occur when the edges or corners of the toenail grow into the skin of the toe. This can cause pain, swelling, and infection. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails, including improper nail trimming, tight or narrow shoes, wearing ill-fitting shoes during high impact activities, and foot injuries. Here’s a closer look at how ingrown toenails happen and what you can do to prevent them.
One common cause of ingrown toenails is improper nail trimming. Toenails should be trimmed straight across, rather than rounded at the corners. If you trim your toenails too short or round the corners, it can cause the toenail to curve and grow into the flesh of the toe. Also, tearing or ripping your nails is likely to leave a jagged edge that will cut into the skin, causing skin to be open to infection and this will start an ingrown toenail.
Tight or Narrow Shoes
Another factor that can contribute to ingrown toenails is wearing ill-fitting footwear. Shoes that squeeze the toes or put pressure on the toenails can cause the toenail to push into the skin of the toe or rub. This is especially common in people who wear high heels or tight-fitting shoes on a regular basis as well as anyone completing high impact sports and activities as well as tradespeople who are often kneeling, squatting or bending which increase pressure on the toes and feet.
Foot injuries, such as stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on your foot, can also cause ingrown toenails to start. If the toenail is damaged, it can grow abnormally and potentially become ingrown.
Ingrown toenails are a common foot problem that your local podiatrist deals with quickly and easily. By taking proper care of your toenails and wearing shoes that fit properly, you can help prevent ingrown toenails and maintain healthy feet. If you do develop an ingrown toenail, it is important to seek treatment to prevent infection and alleviate discomfort. It’s always best to see your podiatrist earlier rather than later, to avoid the need for surgery.