The rather common condition of ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and debilitating. Because the sharp edge of the toenail often cuts into the skin, you can develop fungal toenail and bacterial infections. In many cases, an ingrown toenail could have been avoided by practicing some simple, proactive measures.
You can help prevent ingrown toenails with the following 3 methods:
- Proper cutting technique—The primary cause of ingrown toenails is improper cutting technique. Always strive to trim the nails straight across and a little on the long side so the nail edge is beyond the tender skin of your toes. Use the correct clippers when cutting toenails to help avoid injuries and nail splitting.
- Foot protection—Stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on your foot can contribute to ingrown toenail formation. You can avoid these injuries by wearing protective shoes with steel toes. Properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box will also allow your toes to stretch so they are not pushed together as they are with pumps.
- Wear supportive shoes with proper arch support—Overpronation occurs when your arch is not properly supported. The excess pressure from the abnormal foot movement can push the toenails into the edge of your toe. Be sure to have any gait or arch problems evaluated by your foot doctor and use custom orthotic inserts to direct pressure away from the toes and nails.
For the pain and discomfort of ingrown toenails, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and care. The specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Dr. Geoffrey Epstein, Dr. Matthew Tavroff, Dr. Stuart Leon and Dr. Robert Leon are dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.