Here’s Help for Ingrown Toenails

Your-Healthy-Feet-Dan's-Wellness-Pharmacy-Newsletter-July-2016Ingrown toenails are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness and swelling. Usually, toenails grow straight out. Sometimes, however, one or both corners curve and grow into the flesh. The big toe is the most common location for this condition. Ingrown toenails may be caused by:

  • Improperly trimmed nails
  • Heredity
  • Shoe pressure; crowding of toes
  • Repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain
  • Redness and swelling
  • Drainage
  • Odor
  • Prominent skin tissue

If you suspect an infection, immerse the foot in a warm salt-water soak or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area. (People with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or other circulatory disorders must avoid any form of self-treatment and should seek podiatric medical care as soon as possible.)

Any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail should be avoided. Nail problems should be evaluated and treated by your podiatrist, who can diagnose the ailment and then prescribe medication or another appropriate treatment.

Of course, prevention is best. Trim toenails properly: cut them straight across no longer than the tip of the toes. Don’t dig into corners and only gently round off corners with a nail file. Use toenail clippers. Avoid shoes with pointy or narrow toe boxes. Never rip or tear edges of nails.

-Source: American Podiatric Medical Association