An ingrown toenail happens more often than you think. How should you handle the problem?
Ingrown toenails may not seem like a big deal until they happen to you. This painful condition can become so bad that it might even hurt to walk around or put on shoes. Whether you are prone to ingrown toenails or you are dealing with one now, find out how to care for your feet and what symptoms warrant a trip to see your Fenton, MO podiatrist in the St. Louis area, Dr. Richard Wittock.
Preventing an Ingrown Toenail
While ingrown toenails can be painful and unpleasant you’ll be happy to hear that this condition can be prevented. Here are some ways to prevent an ingrown toenail from happening to you:
Know how to trim your nails properly
It might seem odd, but there is a wrong way to trim your toenails. Sometimes people hack away at their nails to keep them very short, but this is not the best approach. When it comes to trimming your nails, make sure that the tip of the nail is even with the tip of the toes. Cuttings the nails too short may cause shoes to put too much pressure on the nail, which can result in an ingrown toenail.
When you do trim your nails, make sure to trim them straight across rather than at a curve. If you have diabetes or a circulatory problem and are unable to trim your own nails, see our St. Louis area foot doctor routinely to get your nails trimmed.
Wear the right shoes
Shoes that are too tight or don’t give toes enough room to wiggle and move can pinch feet and put too much pressure on your toenails. Make sure that when it comes to buying shoes that you only find ones that actually properly fit your feet and are the right shoes for the job.
Athletes, those with foot disorders and those who are on their feet for most of the day will need different kinds of shoes to cater to their lifestyle. Be sure to visit a specialty shoe store for all your needs.
How to Treat Your Ingrown Toenail
You can often treat this problem with at-home remedies, including:
- Soaking feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day
- Placing some cotton under your toenail
- Applying antibiotic cream
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol to reduce both swelling and pain
If these treatments don’t eliminate the problem then it’s time to see your podiatrist in the St. Louis, MO area for more aggressive treatment that will actually get rid of your painful symptoms. If you’ve found conservative at-home care to not be enough then turn to our Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO.