4 Ways to Prevent an Ingrown Toenail

4 Ways to Prevent an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is extremely painful, and if you’re prone to getting recurring ones, it can be a nuisance. Podiatrists Ryan Golub, DPM, and Zachary Flynn, DPM, AACFAS, of Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, can always treat your ingrown toenail, but you’re probably hoping to avoid the trouble of getting one altogether.

Thankfully, if you get ingrown toenails persistently, there are a number of ways to reduce your risk of getting more in the future. Find out more about what you can do to prevent ingrown toenails.

Understanding your ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail is a common, painful condition that occurs when your toenail grows into the nearby skin on your toe, instead of growing out as is intended. Ingrown toenails are most common on your big toe.

When you get an ingrown toenail, the area around the ingrown area can be red, inflamed, and tender. It can be very painful to walk and wear shoes until the infection is treated.

An ingrown toenail is treated by a simple and quick procedure at Dr. Golub and Dr. Flynn’s office. Left untreated, along with being uncomfortable, you develop the risk of developing an infection that can become systemic.

Preventing an ingrown toenail

Some people are more prone to developing more than one ingrown toenail. You’re more likely to get recurring ingrown toenails because of your genetics, lifestyle habits, or a history of toe injury or some medical conditions.

If you’ve had one or several ingrown toenails, here’s what you can do to prevent getting more in the future.

Trim your nails carefully

One of the most common reasons people get an ingrown toenail is from nail trimming habits. In particular, trimming your toenail too short or in a manner that’s crooked encourages the nail to grow back ingrown.

Instead, trim your nails evenly and straight across. Additionally, be patient by waiting until your toenails really need a trim, and ensure you leave some nail length when trimming.

Be mindful of your footwear

An ingrown toenail can develop because your shoes or socks are too tight around the toenail area. When choosing footwear, check that your new shoes are the correct size, and leave plenty of room in the toebox. 

Also, avoid wearing high heeled shoes that push your toenails to the front of the toebox. A specialist shoe store or our podiatrists can check if your shoes and socks fit properly.

Protect your feet

Because toe and foot injuries cause ingrown toenails, be mindful of where you walk and step to minimize injury. In environments that put foot injury at higher risk, wear the correct protective footwear.

Get an in-office procedure to stop ingrown toenails

When other preventative measures aren’t working, Dr. Golub and Dr. Flynn can perform an in-office procedure that ensures you won’t get an ingrown toenail in the toenail ever again. This easy treatment involves removing the root of your toenail, along its outer edges.

The procedure only removes this small part of the toenail, meaning you still keep most of the nail while removing the infection risk.

If recurring ingrown toenails are causing pain and infection that disrupts your life, our providers can make the problem go away for good. For ingrown toenail treatment or prevention, contact Arizona Foot Health today for a consultation.

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