A painful ingrown toenail often affects the big toe, but your other toes may also be affected. Some people have a predisposition for developing ingrown toenails and this can be exacerbated by wearing tight-fitting shoes. A fungal toenail infection can also contribute to the nail becoming brittle and growing abnormally into the edge of the toe where it can cut your skin and cause considerable pain and discomfort.
Treatments for ingrown toenails include:
● Warm foot soaks—Soaking the foot in a salted bath will help to reduce pain and inflammation. The foot bath will also keep your feet clean to avoid bacterial and fungal toenail contamination.
● See a podiatrist—The best way to effectively treat an ingrown toenail is to be evaluated by a foot care specialist. Depending on the severity of your toenail, the foot doctor may surgically remove part of all of the nail to ensure proper regrowth of the nail.
How to avoid getting ingrown toenails:
● Use proper nail cutting technique—The best way to avoid an ingrown toenail is by making sure you are cutting your toenails straight across. Nails that are cut too short are prime candidates for becoming ingrown, so always leave them a little on the long side.
● Wear properly-fitted shoes—Make sure that your shoes have enough room in the toe box area to prevent pressure on the toenails. Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes since they force your toes together.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from ingrown toenails, we highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists, Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. Dr. Shapiro and Barkin are experts in treating common foot and ankle conditions like plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, diabetic foot issues, bunions, and nail fungus. Visit our Valley Stream podiatry office to resolve your foot and ankle issues. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!