Ingrown Toenail Information & Treatment

An ingrown toe nail occurs when the nail grows into the flesh of the toe instead of over it. Ingrown toenails are particularly common on the big toe and people with thick nails or heavily curved nails tend to be at a higher risk of developing ingrown toe nails. Although anyone can suffer from an ingrown nail, poorly fitting shoes, injury and improperly trimmed nails are some of the most common reasons that they occur.

RECOMMENDATION FOR TREATMENT: The simplest way to eliminate and avoid ingrown toenails is to proper trim your toenails. Toenails should be trimmed regularly but not cut too short. Using a safety nail clipper, cut the nails straight across, being sure that the nail corner is visible. To avoid irritating an ingrown toenail, wear comfortable, well fitting shoes with plenty of room in the toe box.

Causes of Ingrown Nails

Toenails damaged by an injury such as jamming your toe or nails that are not properly trimmed can become ingrown. These types of nails typically burrow into the soft skin at the nail grooves, either on one side of the nail or both. The result is irritation and pain characterized by redness around the nail, swelling and sometimes infection. Nails that are cut too short are more susceptible to ingrown toe nails. Certain foot deformities such as overlapping toes can also contribute to this condition by causing downward pressure at the tip of the nail.

Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

Treating ingrown toenails is easy. The method of treatment is to remove the nail from the skin by gently lifting it and either trimming the corner or placing a small amount of cotton under the nail to lift it away from the skin. Medical attention is not usually required for an ingrown toenail unless infection is present.

If the ingrown nail is caused by ill-fitting shoes, it is recommended that the person suffering from the ailment changes their footwear immediately to a style with plenty of room in the toe box. This will reduce pressure on the toe and prevent the nail from growing further into the skin. If the ingrown nail is caused by overlapping toes, toe alignment trainers can be purchased to straighten toes and prevent rubbing. Always wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes that give toes plenty of space to prevent ingrown nails.

Prevention

Prevention is the best way to avoid painful ingrown toenails. Proper grooming habits and choosing the right footwear or foot pads are the best ways of preventing ingrown toenails. When trimming nails on the feet, cutting straight across so the corner of the nail can easily be seen will help prevent the toenail from growing into the skin. Likewise, adding foot pads to prevent shoes from pressing down on toenails and using toe trainers to prevent overlapping nails can also help prevent ingrown toenails from forming.

When buying shoes, pay attention to the shape of the toe box and the way your toes fit in the shoe. You may need to choose a larger size to avoid pressure on the top of the nail bed, which can cause ingrown nails. To promote healthy feet through the use of well-fitting shoes, HealthyFeetStore.com offers customers easy returns and exchanges in the event that they order the wrong size shoe or need a different style for optimal foot comfort.

Preventing ingrown toenails is easier and less painful than treating them. At Healthy Feet Store, we feel it's important to educate our customers on critical aspects of foot health to ensure they're always comfortable and healthy. Shop online to browse our selection of premium footwear and foot care products to prevent painful ingrown toenails before they occur.

Have other toenail problems? Read our foot care article: The Most Common Toenail Problems and How to Treat Them.