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What Can Cause an Ingrown Toenail?

Monday, 26 April 2021 00:00

The medical condition known as an ingrown toenail can affect the appearance of the foot and cause pain most frequently to the big toe. It is defined as the nail growing into the outer edges of the skin and can cause severe discomfort especially if it becomes infected. Many patients also experience symptoms that include swelling, redness, and tenderness, and it may even become difficult to walk when wearing tight shoes. This condition can occur because of genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, trimming the toenails improperly may cause an ingrown toenail to develop. Toenails should always be trimmed straight across and not too short. The healing process may include wearing sandals that can help to eliminate the pressure on the affected toe. There are several treatments options available if you become afflicted with an ingrown toenail. It is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist who can determine the best treatment method for you.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact John McGhan, DPM of Gold Canyon Foot & Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gold Canyon, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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