Are Your Shoes Causing Ingrown Toenails?
By Foot & Ankle Associates – Sugar Land / Houston’s Favorite Podiatrist,
Dr. Marco Vargas
Shoes can cause all kinds of problems with feet, including bunions, plantar fasciitis, arch issues, and hammer toes, but ingrown toenails are the most common. Women seem especially inclined to choose style over comfort, and this can have some pretty severe consequences over time.
Did you know that barefoot cultures have less foot issues than shoe-wearing cultures?
“Perhaps the most conclusive study was the one that compared foot forms among the non-shoe and the shoe-wearing Chinese population in Hong Kong. The incidence of hallux valgus, hallux rigidus, incurved fifth toe, hammertoe, and a host of other foot and toe deformities was much higher in the shoe-wearing population. The study concluded that the foot in its natural unrestricted form is mobile and flexible and free of the structural problems so often encountered in the shoe-wearing population. These observations lead one to conclude that shoes are not necessary for normal foot development. A normal foot does not need shoe support. In contrast, heavy shoes, unless prescribed for a specific problem, do more harm than good.”
Shoes & Ingrown Toenails
Many types of shoes put pressure on the toes, and on a consistent basis, this can cause toenails to become ingrown. Some shoes that might be a problem are shoes that are too tight, pointy-toed shoes, high heels, or shoes without an adequate toe box.
Shoes That Discourage Ingrown Toenails
Light athletic shoes are the ideal shoes for most foot types. They’re breathable, don’t cause damage due to their weight, and offer sturdy support.
Of course it isn’t always possible to wear athletic shoes, especially if your workplace has a dress code, but another thing you can do is spend your time at home being barefoot. The natural foot can thrive and breathe, at least during your down time.
Ingrown Toenail Home Remedies
For mild cases of ingrown toenails, you can relieve tenderness and prevent it from getting worse by doing some of the following at home.
- Soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salt to relieve inflammation. Domeboro Astringent Solution works as an anti-inflammatory, too.
- Trim your nails properly.
- The cotton method is best for mild cases of ingrown toenails.
- Soften and relieve pain by soaking your feet.
- Disinfect the toe with rubbing alcohol.
- Wedge a small piece of cotton between your toenail and the skin.
- Leave overnight.
- If problems persist, repeat.
- If problems persist after several days, see a podiatrist.
- Put Neosporin or another antibiotic ointment on the ingrown toenail.
- Don’t play surgeon! You could cause an infection and make things worse.
If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to take good care of your feet, so it’s best to see your Sugar Land – Houston, TX podiatrist immediately when you discover a problem. If you aren’t sure and would like to talk to an expert, The Vargas Foot and Ankle Specialists are your Sugar Land and Houston, TX area foot specialists! We provide fast, professional service and even offer same day appointments. Give us a call at 281.607.5186 and put your feet in the hands of a pro!
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
The Vargas Foot and Ankle Specialists at Foot & Ankle Associates treat all medical and surgical foot pain and ankle pain conditions, including ingrown toenails. Licensed Sugar Land, TX Foot Doctor, Dr. Marco Vargas can help bring you foot pain and ankle pain relief.
Our Sugar Land, Texas (TX) podiatry office offers the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including Sugar Land, Texas (TX) and Houston, Texas (TX).
Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!