Toenails might not be as useful as they once were for our ancestors, but the fact remains that our lower digits are still adorned with them. This would be just fine with most people, except that they can lead to various issues, including ingrown toenails.
Ingrown nails might not be as concerning a condition as Charcot foot or diabetic foot ulcers, but they can create a lot of pain and discomfort. Further, they open the door for a possible infection. It is simply best to take advantage of a few easy tips to prevent ingrown toenails from developing in the first place.
Whether for kids or adults, toenails can become ingrown for different reasons, but the most common tend to be faulty nail-trimming procedures and ill-fitting footwear. These are often unintentional, but staying conscious of the role they play can help you avoid the problem.
With this in mind, the three big tips are:
- Buy shoes that fit correctly. Footwear plays a major role in the health and safety of feet, ankles, and toes, including for ingrown nails. When buying shoes always make sure there is plenty of room in the front. This means that there should be about a thumb’s width of space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe, and also that the toe box is wide enough for toes to wiggle freely.
- Trim toenails straight. The issue with trimming nails is that some individuals think that the nails should be rounded off, perhaps because this can be common practice for fingernails. When rounded, though, toenails can grow down and into the soft skin that flanks them. Instead of rounding, be sure to clip them straight across.
- Don’t clip nails too short. Another potential cause of ingrown toenails is nails that are cut too short. It might seem as though shorter is better than having them too long, but the ideal length is actually about even with the edge of the toe. However, it is also important not to let toenails grow too long.
Other causes of ingrown nails (physical trauma, inherited toenail structure) are harder to prevent, but Advanced Foot and Ankle is ready to help. We provide the exceptional ingrown nail treatment that anyone in your family might need. Call us today at (208)-731-6321 for more information or to schedule an appointment (which you can also do online) for either our Twin Falls or Burley, ID foot doctor offices.