Foot problems can disrupt our routine, health, and lifestyle. Among the many types of foot-related issues seen by a podiatrist, the most commonly encountered are ingrown toenails. This painful toenail problem occurs when the nail’s side or sharp edge pushes and grows onto the soft skin tissue around the toe. When the nail cuts or punctures the skin fold, the area can become red, swollen, painful, and infected. Bacteria can also enter the wound, which can be problematic, especially if a person has diabetes or poor circulation in the foot. Ingrown toenails can be hereditary or due to ill-fitting shoes, trauma to the toe, and improper cutting techniques of the toenail. You are likely to spot an ingrown toenail on the big toe; however, it can develop on any toe.
The best way to avoiding this painful condition is to take some proactive steps. Your podiatrist can help you catch these problems before they worsen.
Two tips to help you avoid ingrown toenails are as follows:
- Proper trimming of toenails— Poor toenail cutting techniques often cause ingrown toenails. Make sure to cut the nails straight across and never too short. If you cannot trim your nails safely, let your foot doctor do it for you to avoid any accidents or injuries. It is particularly important for patients who have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.
- The right footwear— The wrong shoes can cause undue stress and pressure upon the foot. Make sure they fit you properly and are not too tight. The extra force can push your toes together and cause an ingrown toenail. Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. High-heeled shoes and pointy cowboy boots can cause the toes to be squeezed together and add pressure on the sides of toenails. Try to limit their use or save them for special occasions to avoid the chance of developing an ingrown toenail.
These correct and timely measures can help avert severe complications of the foot and ankle. See your podiatrist for the best care, diagnosis, and treatment.
If you notice any early symptoms of ingrown toenails or have any concerns about your foot health, contact the office of Dr. Joseph C. Stuto, Dr. Joseph A. Stuto, Dr. Lisa Fuchs, and Dr. Momna Younas at Stuto Foot Specialist Podiatry in Brooklyn, NY, to schedule a consultation. You can call us at either of our two convenient office locations: Brooklyn - Heights, NY (718) 624-7537 or Brooklyn, NY (718) 567-1403. We look forward to serving you.