You may think of an ingrown toenail as a pesky, minor problem, but for some patients it could cause a more urgent condition. For instance, patients who need diabetic foot care or have circulatory disorders must avoid ulcers or wounds on their feet. Find out how a podiatrist at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, ID, can help you with your ingrown toenails.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails?
A normal toenail grows outward over the surface of the skin. An ingrown toenail pushes down into the skin, causing pain and discomfort. It is sometimes caused by cutting the nails too short, or wearing snug shoes that put too much pressure on the nails. Some patients are more prone to this problem due to genetics, as it can run in families. In some cases, ingrown toenails can develop after a foot injury, like stubbing the toe on a piece of furniture. People who play sports may have frequent problems with their toenails.
Treating Ingrown Toenails
The basic treatment for an ingrown toenail is to have the nail clipped carefully by your Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, ID, podiatrist. In some cases, the nail may have to be surgically removed. If there is a wound left behind, it may require antibiotic therapy and wound care. See your foot doctor immediately if the area becomes red, swollen, and infected.
An Annoying but Manageable Foot Problem
If you tend to develop ingrown toenails, rest assured that this is a foot condition that is relatively easy to manage. Here are a few tips for how to ensure that your toenails grow properly:
- Clip your nails straight across, a couple of millimeters above the line where the skin and nail meet.
- Smooth out the edges of each nail with a file regularly so that they won’t be sharp or jagged.
- Keep your feet moisturized and clean throughout the day.
- Get rid of tight, pointed shoes and replace them with shoes that are square or round at the front.
Keep Your Toenails Healthy
Your toenails provide much-needed protection for your toes, so it’s important that you keep them healthy and well-maintained. If you need help avoiding ingrown toenails, call Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, ID, today to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.