An ingrown toenail is a pretty self-explanatory condition where the sharp corner of the nail grows into your foot. Although it is a relatively small problem, it can cause a lot of pain. This blog will give a brief overview of how ingrown toenails occur, how to treat them, and how to prevent them from reoccurring.
How do They Happen?
Quite simply, the main reason ingrown toenails occur is because so many of us wear shoes that are too small. By wearing such tight-fitting shoes, we are forcing our toes together and placing them under immense pressure. Many of us would spend half our day or more in shoes, so it’s quite common for the nail to be forced to grow into the toe.
Another leading cause of ingrown toenails is the fact that many people do not trim their nails correctly. You may think that this is a skill people should have picked up by adulthood, but the reason for it is quite simple. Our toes are rounded, so it seems natural that the tops of our nails should be too. In reality though, curvy clipping causes the sides of the nails to become sharp, and enables them to grow outward, so keep the cut straight from now on.
How are They Treated?
Except for very advanced cases, ingrown toenails can often be treated with a fairly straightforward home remedy. Depending on the positioning of the nail, you may have to vary the technique slightly.
Firstly, you should soak your feet in warm water for 20 minutes at least three times a day. Don’t make the water too hot, as you could harm the skin on your feet. You just want to soften the skin, so warm water should be fine. After the soak, you can try to cut the nail into a straight line. If the nail is not yet in a position to be cut yet, you may have to place a bit of cotton under the stubborn bit to encourage it to grow in the right direction. Once it has grown enough, you can cut it.
Ingrown toenails can often lead to infections, so make sure you use plenty of antibiotic cream until the issue has been resolved.
How can I Prevent Them?
As mentioned earlier, the two most common reasons for ingrown toenails are tight shoes, and bad clipping. Now that you know the right way to clip your nails, the best course of action you can take to prevent ingrown toenails from reoccurring is to make sure you are wearing the correct footwear. To see how to do this, visit our blog on finding the right shoe for your foot type.