At this time of year we see a lot of patients with ingrowing toenails. I am often asked how to prevent the nail from ingrowing.
What does an ingrowing toenail look like?
An ingrowing toenail is where the nail grows into the surrounding skin. This usually affects the big toes although it can affect any toe. The nail can pierce the skin leaving the toe red, swollen and painful. If left it can bleed, discharge pus and eventually become infected. It is best to seek treatment from a HCPC registered Podiatrist if you develop these symptoms. If you don’t have discharge or bleeding but the area is uncomfortable you should contact a podiatrist sooner rather than later as the treatment may be less complicated the earlier the problem is caught!
Here are our TOP TIPS to prevent an ingrowing toenail:
- Cut your nails straight across and not too short, this will prevent the nail from becoming impacted in the surrounding skin as it grows.
- Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes – shoes which press of the toes adds pressure on the nail. This in turn can promote thickening or changes in the shape of the nail causing it to press into the surrounding skin. Check out here for more information on finding shoes that fit your feet!
- It’s not just the shoes – socks or tights which are too tight can do exactly the same thing!
- Avoid sweaty feet – sweaty feet softens the skin surrounding the nail which makes it easier for the nail to pierce it. Wearing cotton socks and shoes made from breathable materials will help this
- Avoid walking bare foot and in open toed shoes where injury can be likely. This along with footwear is the most common cause of ingrowing toenails!
Check out the College of Podiatry website for more information
If you think you have an ingrowing toenail and would like more information on treatment options then contact us to see how we can help.