If you’ve got an ingrowing toenail you already know that at best it can be painful… At worst it inflames and gets a very bad infection. The condition occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into adjacent skin. The factors that increase the chances of ingrowing toenails include:
- Trimming your nails too short
- Injuring your toe
- Excessive sweating on the foot
- Restriction of the toes in too-tight footwear
- A genetic predisposition
- Thickened toenails
Be aware, too, that – even on a good day – your feet are a breeding ground for bacteria… This means that infections, ulcers, blisters and blood blisters are not uncommon in relation to the problem.
Treating Ingrowing Toenails
Before we say anything else, we should give any diabetics a warning. If you have an ingrowing toenail, go straight to your GP! It may seem like nothing, but diabetes often affects the healing of an ingrowing toenail – don’t take any chances. With that said – and as is the case with many conditions – prevention is by far the best ‘treatment’ for ingrowing toenails! The following tips help you keep them at bay:
Wash your feet
We’re hopeful that you don’t need much motivation to wash your feet! But keeping them clean is only part of the regime. Do dry your feet thoroughly as well and, if you can afford to make time, moisturize them too.
Cut your nails carefully
As well as making sure that you don’t cut your toenails too short, you can also remember to cut them straight across. That’s to say you shouldn’t follow the nail down into the flesh! Keep in mind that many people find that their nails are easier to trim after a bath or hot shower since the water tends to soften them.
Fresh hosiery should be worn every day. Your footwear needs to fit properly – shoes that are too tight can cause numerous problems, including ingrowing toenails. Conversely, loose footwear sometimes results in your walking in a way that puts undue pressure on the toes.
We’d always urge you to visit us, or your GP, in the event that you develop an ingrowing toenail. We know that a lot of people adopt a sort of “Wait and see” attitude, though! That being the case, if your nail in-growth is mild, all of the above prevention tips are still of help. To take care of a toenail that is already growing inwards needs more effort, though…
Use a little olive oil to soften the skin around the nail before very gently pushing the fleshy pad away with the cotton end of an ear-bud or Q-Tip. Don’t take any chances, though: you really don’t want the nail to become infected.