Painful ingrown toenails can be prevented in many cases by following a few simple guidelines. Our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Gerard Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, shares a few tips that will help you avoid ingrown toenails and explains how a visit to the foot doctor can help if you do experience an ingrown nail.
Don't round your nails
Do you cut off the corners of your nails? Rounding the nails makes it easier for the edges to grow into the soft skin surrounding the nail. The next time you cut your nails, cut them straight across instead.
Avoid tight shoes
High heels and other tight shoes that exert pressures on your toes can drive the side of the nail into your skin. Avoid wearing the shoes, or at least don't wear them every day, to prevent ingrown toenails. Tight socks should also be avoided.
Quick action on your part can stop a nail from growing into the skin. If you notice that your nail has begun to penetrate the skin, soften the skin by soaking it in warm water for 15 or 20 minutes. After you dry your foot, place a small piece of cotton under the edge of the nail. The cotton will help free the trapped nail and prevent it from growing into your skin again. After you free the nail, apply a little antibiotic ointment to your skin to prevent an infection. If you can't loosen the nail, don't force it. Call our Woodbridge office to schedule an appointment instead.
Treat fungal infections
If you have toenail fungus, you may be more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. Treating the infection promptly can help you avoid the pain of an ingrown nail.
Don't treat ingrown toenails at home if you have diabetes
Diabetes can affect your bodies ability to heal itself and causing infections that are difficult to treat. If you have diabetes and notice that the side of the nail is growing into your skin, call our office. Attempting to treat the problem yourself can increase your risk of infection.
Know when to call the foot doctor
Call us if you:
- Can't free the nail yourself
- Notice signs of infection, such as red streaks or pus on your toe
- Are in severe pain
- Experience ingrown toenails frequently
Ingrown toenails are usually treated by removing the section of the nail that's embedded in the nail. You'll receive a topical anesthetic to ensure that you don't experience any pain during the procedure. If ingrown toenails happen often, removing the nail can solve the problem.
Do you have an ingrown toenail? Call our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, at (703) 491-2603 to schedule an appointment.