Ever had a toenail that didn’t quite understand which direction it was supposed to grow? They aren’t much fun. Rather than continuing to grow smoothly up and out, ingrown toenails get hung up on the toe, with a corner or edge of the nail stubbornly digging into the surrounding flash.
Ingrown toenails can range from mild annoyance to major pain to potential source of serious infection, but in any case, you’ll probably want to avoid them as much as possible. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks you can use to reduce your risk.
Tip #1: Shoes. More specifically, choose the right ones, and wear them regularly. The right pair of shoes will provide adequate “wiggle room” for toes, both horizontally and vertically. If your shoes are too narrow, however, ingrown toenails are one possible result—the constricted toe box pushes the nails downward or sideways as they grow. Furthermore, shoes provide some protection against stubs and jams, which can also contribute to a case of ingrown toenails.
Tip #2: Trimming technique. You want to cut the nails straight across without too much rounding in the corners, and you also want to leave them at a medium length: about even with the tips of your toes. This allows your nails fewer opportunities for problems compared to short, rounded cuts.
Tip #3: The permanent fix. Unfortunately, some people seem especially prone to developing ingrown toenails despite taking reasonable prevention precautions, likely due to an unlucky genetic inheritance. If the problem keeps coming back no matter what you do, we can perform a minor surgical procedure that will not only remove the painful portion of the nail, but permanently prevent it from growing back along that edge. Voila! No more problems.
Don’t struggle along with a painful ingrown toenail, especially if there’s any sign of infection. Treatment is quick, relatively painless, provides near-instant relief, and won’t keep you off your feet for more than day. To find out more or to schedule your appointment, please call Associates in Podiatry today. You can reach our Princeton, NJ office at (609) 924-8333, or dial (908) 687-5757 for Roselle Park.