Most people never even think about ingrown toenails unless the time comes when they develop the condition for themselves. When this occurs, they often have little clue about how to care for the affected toenails and how to prevent it from happening in the future. Ingrown toenails occur for a variety of reasons, but no matter how they happen, there are certain strategies designed to ease the pain of this condition and help reduce the chances of it happening in the future. Following are three things preventive measures that you can take in order to minimize the chances of developing an ingrown toenail.
Cut Your Toenails Straight Across
Most people tend to try to cut their toenails around the shape of their toes, but this practice actually encourages the development of ingrown toenails. Be sure to cut your toenails straight across instead, and resist the temptation to cut them too short — being cut too short makes it easier for the toenail tissue to grow into the skin. If trimming your toenails is a challenge for you, you might consider seeking the services of an experienced pedicure technician or visit your location podiatry clinic.
Avoid Trauma to the Toe Area
Stubbed and jamming toes also often results in ingrown toenails. If you regularly participate in sports that leave your toes vulnerable, such as ballet and soccer, investing in a pair of good toe guards will help circumvent the development of ingrown toenails. It's also a good idea to wear sturdy shoes when performing household tasks that require lifting or other activities that could possibly result in something heavy being dropped on your foot.
Wear Shoes and Socks That Fit
Tight shoes and socks are one of the major culprits when it comes to ingrown toenails. Teenagers, in particular, are vulnerable to this because they are outgrowing their footwear at such a rapid pace that they frequently find themselves wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. Fashion footwear featuring overly narrow toe areas also may cause ingrown toenails.
However, ingrown toenails are often an inherited condition. If this is the case, you can add an extra layer of prevention by using orthotic products such as toe rings designed specifically to keep the toenail from growing into the skin. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the embedded toenail. If the problem persists, your podiatrist may recommend having a procedure performed that removes a portion of the toenail and the underlying tissue in order to keep the problem from recurring.