Although ingrown toenails are not a reason for alarm, they can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort in the affected toe. They occur when the edge of your toenail grows into the skin surrounding the nail, often resulting in redness, tenderness, and sometimes infection if left untreated. The pain associated with an ingrown toenail Bakersfield can affect your ability to conduct your daily activities. However, with proper nail care, footwear, and timely medical attention, you can prevent the complications associated with the disorder. The following are the causes of ingrown toenails:
Some people are born with naturally curved or thicker toenails than usual, making them more prone to growing into the surrounding skin. In some cases, the nail bed itself may be irregularly shaped, causing your nail to grow in a way that leads to an ingrown toenail. If someone in your family has a history of ingrown toenails, you must be mindful of proper nail care and footwear choices to help prevent the condition from developing. While genetics may increase the risk of ingrown toenails, there are still preventative measures that you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing this painful condition.
2. Trauma to the toenail
Trauma can occur when your toenail is subjected to excessive pressure or force, such as when you hit your toe on an object or drop something heavy on your foot. It can cause the nail to grow into the skin, leading to pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area. Additionally, repetitive activities that put pressure on your toenail can also contribute to the development of the disorder.
3. Tight-fitting shoes
When your toes are cramped together in a narrow or pointed-toe box, the pressure can cause the nail to grow into your skin, especially if the shoes are too small. Over time, the constant pressure and rubbing of the nail against the skin can cause the skin to become inflamed and infected. People who wear high heels or shoes with a narrow or pointed-toe box are at risk of developing ingrown toenails.
4. Improper trimming of nails
When you cut your toenails too short, the skin around the nail can fold over the edge of the nail, causing it to grow into your skin. Similarly, when you trim the toenail with a rounded shape, the nail can grow into the skin. If you have difficulty trimming your toenails or are unsure of how to do it properly, it is a good idea to ask a podiatrist for help.
Remedies for ingrown toenails
In mild cases, soaking the affected foot in warm water for 15-20 minutes several times daily can help reduce swelling and pain. You can also place a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the edge of the nail can also help lift the nail away from your skin and encourage proper growth. However, do not force anything under the nail, as this can cause further damage. For more severe cases, your podiatrist may need to remove part of the nail or perform a procedure to remove the nail bed permanently. In some cases, they may prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection.
For more information about ingrown toenails, call the Diabetic Foot and Wound Center office or book your spot online.