INGROWN TOENAILS in Birmingham, AL
An ingrown toenail is one of the most common foot problems that our podiatrists see and treat. An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the nail grows into the skin, which causes pain, redness, and swelling of the tissue around the nail. While ingrown toenails can develop on any nail, they most commonly occur in the big toe.
Always Trim Toenails Carefully
Do you ever really think about how you’re cutting your toenail? Probably not, right? It seems as simple as shaving or brushing your teeth; however, how your nails are trimmed is a big factor in whether or not you develop ingrown toenails. There are some trimming rules to live by if you want to prevent ingrown toenails. First, don’t ever cut nails too short or cut down into the edges. When trimming your nails, always trim straight across. To trim down the edges of the nail, always use a nail file. It might seem like a lot of extra trouble just to trim your nails, but trust us, dealing with an ingrown toenail is far worse. Have trouble trimming your own nails? Don’t worry; you can come into our practice, where our team of podiatrists can trim your nails for you.
Proper Footwear is Key
You might wear heels to work every day or you might like the way your new boots go with your outfit; either way, if you’re wearing shoes or socks that are too snug, you might find yourself dealing with an ingrown toenail. If you notice that your shoes are jamming up your toes, then it’s a safe bet that it’s time for new shoes (or to at least ditch this pair). Also, ensure that the socks you buy aren’t too bulky for the shoes you plan to wear with them. No one wants to have their shoe rubbing up against their foot all day long.
Protect Feet from Injuries
If you play sports like basketball or football, then at some point during a game I’m sure you’ve had to come to a solid stop. When that’s happened, you may have noticed your toes slam into the front of your shoe. It might seem like a temporary nuisance that you can easily shake off; however, repeated stress to the nail can increase your risk for an ingrown toenail.
When to See a Podiatrist
In most healthy individuals, an ingrown toenail won’t be more than a minor annoyance that will go away; however, it’s important to know when you should turn to our podiatry team for care. You should come in for an evaluation if,
- The pain gets worse
- There is severe swelling of the toe
- There is severe sensitivity in the toe
- You’re unable to wear shoes without pain
- Pus or fluid is draining from the nail
- You also have diabetes or neuropathy
If you are dealing with painful or recurring ingrown toenails, our podiatrists Dr. Russell and Dr. Bowman at Podiatry Associates are here to make sure your feet get the proper care they deserve.