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Why Is My Toenail Ingrown?

Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Ingrown toenails occur when a nail grows into the surrounding skin, rather than over it. This can cause symptoms such as pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling of the skin surrounding the ingrown toenail. While most ingrown toenails are not serious and often heal with home treatment, sometimes the area can become infected and require medical treatment. But what causes toenails to become ingrown anyway? Trauma to the toenail from stubbing the toe can lead to ingrown nails, as can wearing shoes that are too tight and push the nail into the skin, and trimming the toenails improperly. If you are prone to ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist, who can assess your feet and advise you on how to prevent and treat ingrown toenails. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact John Horlebein, DPM of Northern Cascades Foot & Ankle, LLC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Chelan, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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