Ingrown toenails are nails whose sides or corners dig into the skin often causing pain and/or infection. They are caused by shoe pressure, injury, fungal infection, improper nail trimming, genetics or just poor foot structure. Dr. Richard Wittock in St. Louis, MO, can offer several helpful tips to help his patients reduce their chances of ingrown toenails in the future.
Toenails should always be trimmed straight across and slightly longer at the end of the toe with toenail clippers only. Never curve your nails. Keep the toenails the proper length as too short can lead to an immediate toenail issue and increased risk of ingrown nails. If you have a condition where you have poor circulation to your feet, seek help from a St. Louis podiatrist for proper toe trimming.
Also, always wear shoes that fit. Shoes that place too much pressure on the toes can cause the nail to grow into the tissue around it. Protective footwear is also important for individuals who may be at risk for hurting their feet or toes at work.
For individuals with ingrown toenails, soak your feet several times a day to reduce tenderness and swelling. Place cotton or dental floss under the toenail edge that is ingrown to help it to grow properly. Over-the-counter pain relievers also help ease the pain. Never avoid treatment whether you are diabetic or not as it can lead to more serious foot problems later in life and even infection. Diabetic patients should check their feet daily for any issues including the risk of ingrown toenails that can lead to more serious problems for them because of their medical condition.
A podiatrist can evaluate the nails and determine the proper course of treatment to prevent infection. To schedule this important appointment today, call our St. Louis, MO, podiatry office at (636) 717-1100.