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3 Reasons You Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails

3 Reasons You Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails

It’s hard to confuse an ingrown toenail with other foot problems. That’s because they involve the toenail growing into the surrounding skin, leading to:

This common issue can affect anyone, but certain risk factors increase your chances of a problem. And they can also increase the risk of ingrown toenails becoming a recurring problem.

Our podiatry team offers expert care with a gentle touch at Premier Foot and Ankle Center

Do you keep getting ingrown toenails? Here are three things that put you at risk of this foot problem.

1. Cutting your toenails incorrectly

Ingrown toenails can affect any of your little piggies, but they often develop in the big toe. And it’s usually due to improper toenail trimming.

It may be tempting to cut your toenails with rounded, tapered corners. After all, it gives a more flattering shape to the nail. But it also creates edges that can grow into the surrounding skin.

To avoid this problem, cut your nails straight across and don’t go too short — even when getting a professional pedicure. Your feet will thank you for it. 

2. Wearing the wrong shoes

If you struggle with ingrown toenails, it’s time to reevaluate your footwear.

Whenever you squeeze your tootsies into shoes that pinch the toes or apply too much pressure, you increase the chances your toenails will grow into the surrounding skin.

Similarly, engaging in repetitive activities or situations that put your toes at risk can also lead to recurring ingrown toes — for instance, running, ballet, soccer, or being on construction sites. 

Fortunately, you can protect your toes by choosing options with plenty of room in the toe box. And wear protective footwear during activities that can injure your toes.

We also offer personalized recommendations on where to start, especially for athletes and people with nerve damage or other foot issues.

3. Having certain medical conditions

Finally, living with certain medical conditions also increases your chances of developing ingrown toenails. Such conditions include:

While ingrown toenails usually pose little risk, they can cause potentially serious issues in individuals with these medical conditions. 

We recommend scheduling regular foot care appointments if you have medical conditions, especially diabetes. These visits can help detect issues early on and even help you avoid them entirely.

Treating ingrown toenails

In the earliest stages, ingrown toenails often respond to treatment at home, like soaking your feet in warm water and trimming the nail properly.

But if you have recurring problems, toe pain, signs of an infection, or a medical condition, it’s time to schedule a visit.

We can evaluate the situation and outline the most effective treatment option. This varies based on the ingrown toenail, from placing cotton between the nail and skin to removing the entire toenail.

If you have an infection, you might also need a course of antibiotics.

While treating your ingrown toenail, our experts can also provide additional guidance on avoiding ongoing issues moving forward.

Do you keep getting ingrown toenails? Schedule a consultation with our Premier Foot and Ankle Center experts in Worcester or Webster, Massachusetts, today.

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