Preventing and Dealing with Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails occur when the edges or corners of your nails grow into the skin next to the nail. Your big toe is most likely to get an ingrown toenail. The result is pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes an infection. Often you can take care of ingrown toenails on your own. If the pain is severe or spreading, your doctor can take steps to relieve your discomfort and help you avoid complications of ingrown toenails.
You can treat ingrown toenails at home. However, they can cause complications which might require medical treatment. Your risk of complications is higher if you have diabetes or other conditions which cause poor circulation.
What causes ingrown toenails?
According to the National Health Services, ingrown toenails occur in both men and women, and may be more common in people with sweaty feet, such as teenagers. Older people may also be at higher risk because toenails thicken with age.
Many things can cause an ingrown toenail, including:
- Cutting toenails incorrectly
- Irregular, curved toenails
- Footwear that places a lot of pressure on the big toes, such as socks and stockings that are too tight or shoes that are too tight, narrow, or flat for your feet
- Toenail injury, including stubbing your toe, dropping something heavy on your foot, or kicking a ball repeatedly
- Poor posture
- Improper foot hygiene, such as not keeping your feet clean or dry
- Genetic predisposition
- Having unusually curved toenails
Using your feet extensively during athletic activities can make you especially prone to getting ingrown toenails. Activities in which you repeatedly kick an object or put pressure on your feet for long periods of time can also cause toenail damage and increase your risk of ingrown toenails. These activities include:
An ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection, if left untreated or undetected.
Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes, which can cause poor blood flow and damage nerves in your feet. So a minor foot injury – a cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail – may not heal properly and become infected. A difficult-to-heal open sore may require surgery to prevent the decay and death of tissue. Gangrene results from an interruption in blood flow to an area of your body.
If you have a genetic predisposition to ingrown toenails, they may keep coming back or appear on multiple toes at once. Your quality of life may be affected by pain, infections, and other painful foot issues which require multiple treatments or surgeries. In this case, your doctor may recommend a partial of full matrixectomy to remove the toenails causing chronic pain.
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails can be painful, and they usually worsen in stages:
Early-stage symptoms include:
- Skin next to the nail becoming tender, swollen, or hard
- Pain when pressure is placed on the toe
- Fluid building up around the toe
- Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail
- Redness around your toenail
- Swelling of your toe around the nail
- Infection of the tissue around your toenail
If your toe becomes infected, symptoms may include:
- Red, swollen skin
- Oozing pus
- Overgrowth of skin around the toe
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you:
- Experience severe discomfort in your toe or pus or redness that seems to be spreading
- Have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet and you experience any foot sore or infection
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can be prevented by making several lifestyle changes:
- Trim your toenails straight across and make sure that the edges do not curve in
- Avoid cutting toenails too short
- Wear proper fitting shoes, socks, and tights
- Wear steel-toe boots if you work in hazardous conditions
- If your toenails are abnormally curved or thick, surgery may be necessary to prevent ingrown toenails
- Trim your toenails straight across
- Keep toenails at a moderate length
- Wear shoes that fit properly
- Wear protective footwear
- Check your feet
Here are some products that could help in preventing and dealing with ingrown toenails:
Where to Buy
A toenail brace gets rid of ingrown toenails by correcting excessive nail curvature. Bracing is very safe and inexpensive treatment option which can use for a very long period of time. The toenail brace is a composite strip applied across your toenails.
This is the most popular product on the market today for treating ingrown toenails, because it takes a modern approach to treating ingrown nails. It is a unique product which eliminates ingrown nails in just a day or two no matter how long you’ve been suffering from it. The strip behaves like a spring so when it’s bonded to the curved surface of your nails it applies a gentle force which helps straighten the nail.
This CurveCorrect Toenail kit includes:
- Solvent (3.7 mL)
- Cotton swabs
- Plastic case
- Application instructions
- Medical grade, non-toxic brace adhesive (1.0 mL)
- 10 transparent braces per kit
- Nail file
The custom-contoured body of the scissors is designed for comfortable maneuvering. Sharp, ultra-thin precision blades allow each hair to be isolated with accuracy and control. The relieve hands of ragged hangnails with the thin precision tips which is designed to help maintain healthy hands. Plus, its extra-sharp curved blades keep cuticles neat and tidy for consistent quality nail care and a well-groomed look.
This nail file is made of high quality stainless steel, and one side is curved while the other side is straight. It also helps prevent future ingrown.
This straightening clip helps in reducing pain and also eliminates redness. It is attached to the surface of the nail so it can produce upward rebound pull, which will be embedded in the flesh of the nail was slowly pulled out, making the nail healthy grow and also allows the nail to return to a normal curvature, and no longer embedded in the meat.
Ingrown toenails can be uncomfortable, but as there are various ways to treat it. As long as you take care of your toes and use the treatment properly, the odds of infection are low.