What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

If you are struggling with ingrown toenails, Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, is here to help. Ingrown toenails can be painful and unsightly, but we can treat them and get you back on your feet!

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails develop when the side of a toenail presses against and digs into the skin. The most common cause of this is trimming toenails too short, and it most often happens on the big toe. They can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or too short and compress the toe area. If you have a toe injury or fungal infection in the foot, it's easy for an ingrown toenail to develop.

Whatever the root cause of the ingrown toenail, the pressure of the nail pushing into the skin causes pain, redness, and swelling. Contact your podiatrist in Woodbridge, VA, for advice if you have an ingrown toenail.

Treating ingrown toenails

As soon as you notice an ingrown toenail you should start treatment to prevent it from getting infected. If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of infection in your feet and should see a podiatrist right away. At-home treatment for an ingrown toenail starts with soaking the foot in warm, soapy water several times a day. Soaking the foot reduces swelling, and helps keep the toe clean to prevent infection.

If the ingrown toenail does not improve with at-home measures, your podiatrist can perform a minor, in-office procedure to free the trapped part of the nail. In extreme cases, the nail is completely removed. To prevent future ingrown toenails you can:

  • Trim toenails straight across, without rounded corners
  • Wear socks and shoes that fit comfortably and don't compress the toe area
  • Keep your feet clean and dry at all times

If you have ingrown toenails, Dr. Ranieri is here for you at Lake Ridge Podiatry. Contact us for an appointment in Woodbridge, VA, at (703) 491-2603.

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