THREE COMMON CAUSES OF INGROWN TOENAILS BY SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (TX) PODIATRIST
By Foot & Ankle Associates – Sugar Land / Houston’s Favorite Podiatrist, Dr. Marco Vargas
A very common condition typically affecting the big toe is an ingrown toenail, which can be painful and sore. Adults tend to be more susceptible to ingrown toenails, and men usually get them more often than women. Of course an ingrown toenail can happen to anyone, especially when shoes that don’t fit right are one of the main culprits, but that’s why this blog exists.
Improper Trimming Technique
Improper trimming is a major contributor to ingrown toenails and a very easy mistake to make. The first instinct is to cut off the part of the toenail that is painfully digging into your nailbed. Don’t! Though there are ways to alleviate the pain, cutting the ingrown toenail is not a recommended one.
What is improper trimming?
1. Cutting your nails too short. This allows the skin to start growing over your toenail, which can lead to an ingrown toenail.
2. Biting your nails. Whether it’s your fingernails or toenails, you can increase your chances of developing an ingrown toenail if you bite your nails.
3. Tapering the sides of your nails. Cutting your nails to taper them often encourages the nails to grow outward into the side bed.
The worst part of having an ingrown toenail is that it can get infected if exposed to dirt or bacteria. That’s definitely not fun!
Please note, if you have diabetes and are concerned about an ingrown toenail, see your podiatrist as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary complications.
Shoes that don’t fit well and are uncomfortable can cause ingrown toenails. Actually, ill-fitting shoes are behind many more foot problems, too, but we’ll get into that in future articles.
Shoes that are too tightly or too loosely add pressure to the toes, especially if you jog or run. The impact and pressure on the big toe can cause it to grow abnormally.
A common type of shoe that increases the likelihood of getting an ingrown toenail is the high heel. As a general rule, if you wear heels to work or on a daily basis, making sure they’re 2” or less is a pretty safe bet for your feet and their health.
The winning shoe checklist:
• Shoes aren’t loose or too tight.
• Your toes have a little wiggle room.
• A wide toe box; pointy shoes are not recommended.
Tight Socks & Stockings
You read that right… socks and stockings can also be the culprit! Shoes being too tight can cause ingrown toenails, but so can tight socks or stockings. If you combine the two, you get a double whammy of discomfort and risk to your toes due to pressure.
Even worse is if your socks and shoes don’t allow your feet to breathe. If that’s the case, your feet are in a warm, damp environment that softens the skin around the nail and practically sends that pesky toenail a party invitation. Careful, though… this is a sneaky party! You probably wouldn’t even realize what’s going on until weeks later when it starts getting painful. Yikes!
How To Grab a Win For Your Toenails
A few very basic precautions can help prevent ingrown toenails from forming in the first place, and they’re all simple and easy to implement.
• Make sure your shoes fit properly.
• Make sure your socks or stockings aren’t too tight.
• Let your feet breathe.
• Trim your toenails properly (see the next article in this series).
• Avoid pointy-toed shoes.
Taking good care of your feet is a must if they’re going to stay healthy, so keep reading for more tips and tricks to maintain foot health. If you feel like you need a Sugar Land Podiatrist to take a look at your ingrown toenail and you live in the Sugar Land / Houston area, please give The Vargas Foot and Ankle Specialists a call at 281.607.5186. Same day appointments are available.
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 offer 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!