Improperly cut toenails can grow into the soft skin at the edge of your toe, causing swelling, redness, and possibly infection. There are some people who have naturally curved nails that are more susceptible to grow inward, but usually, the cause is an incorrect cutting method that can easily be corrected with a little patience and care.
Treating a severe ingrown toenail can be difficult and painful, so you may want to leave it up to your foot doctor. If you do decide to tackle the problem yourself, you can try warm water soaks to soften the nail and then gently try pulling the nail away from the skin. Hold it in place away from the sharp nail edge by inserting a small piece of cotton or moleskin under the nail.
Avoiding painful ingrown toenails by following these tips:
● Trim your toenails carefully - Always trim your toenails a little long and straight across. Too much rounding on the sides can lead to nails growing into the skin. Try to keep the length of your nails equal with the tips of your toes.
● Wear properly fitted shoes - Always wear shoes with ample room in the toe area. Footwear that crowds your toes can push the toenails into your skin, so avoid wearing high heels and pointy cowboy boots.
● Carefully inspect your feet every day - If you notice any nails that may have been cut too short you should see your foot doctor before they have a chance to grow into your skin. Patients with diabetes should be especially careful to ensure that a severe infection is not taking hold.
More advanced ingrown toenails may need to be surgically modified and/or removed to provide complete relief. This can be done in the office under a local anesthetic, and the recovery process is minimal. Our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM will be happy to assist you. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!