Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the nail (usually on the big toe) grows into the flesh of the toe instead of over it. When your nails are thicker, curved, or if you trim them improperly you are more likely to suffer from ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails can become infected and may be red, painful, swollen, and may leak pus. Here is how to prevent, cure, and treat ingrown toenails at home:

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

  • A stubbed or injured toe
  • Wearing shoes or stockings that are too tight
  • Trimming your nails too short or curved around the edges
  • Picking or tearing at the corners of your nails
  • Nails that curve or grow downward

How to Treat Ingrown Toenails at Home

Ingrown nails are painful, but they are easily treatable. While most cases can be treated at home, if you develop an infection you should make sure to see your foot specialist.

Home treatment options include:

  • Soaking the affected foot a few times a day. Then, keep the toe dry.
  • Trim the nails straight across. Don’t curve the sides or cut them too short.
  • Put a small piece of floss or cotton under the nail with a small amount of antiseptic to reroute the growth.
  • Wear open-toed shoes as much as possible and avoid ill-fitted, tight shoes.
  • Avoid using sharp objects to dig under the nail, as this can lead to infection.

If the problem persists, you may need to see your podiatrist to have part of the nail removed. She may also prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection.

Untreated, ingrown toenails can lead to serious complications like ulcerations or gangrene.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Take care of your feet. Take the time to keep your feet clean and trim your nails properly. Even if you are predisposed to ingrown toenails based on the way your nails grow, you can still work to take excellent care of your feet.

Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS

Known for his expertise in thorough diagnostic testing and a steady surgical hand, Jason M. Gold, DPM, is a leader in modern foot and ankle care and sports medicine. He’s one of a handful of doctors who’s board certified in foot and ankle surgery in Palm Beach County. Dr. Jason Gold cares for patients at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, a state-of-the-art practice with locations in Boca Raton and Boynton, Florida.

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus , DPM - Podiatrist in Boca Raton, FL

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus is a foot, ankle, and leg vein specialist practicing in South Florida. She is considered a leader and innovator for various procedures in her field, including fat pad and vein care. Dr. Schoenhaus grew up in southern New Jersey and she considers herself a true Philly girl. After graduating from the University of Michigan, having studied kinesiology and human movement, she went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she got her doctorate.

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