How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail grows into your skin instead of over it, leading to pain and swelling in your toe. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can develop into an infection that may require antibiotics or minor surgery to correct. People with diabetes and vascular problems should be especially careful about treating ingrown toenails because they can lead to serious complications, including the risk of losing a limb. The team at the Edmonton Foot Health Clinic has put together four tips to help you prevent ingrown toenails.

1. Clip toenails correctly

Most podiatrists cite improper nail trimming as the most common cause of ingrown toenails. Cutting your toenails too short and unevenly at the corners makes it easier for skin to grow over your nail. To prevent this, you should make sure to cut your toenails straight across instead of rounding the edges the way you would clip your fingernails.

2. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks
Shoes or socks that are too tight or short put pressure on your toenails and can cause the nail to start growing into the skin. Make sure to wear loose-fitting socks and shoes that have enough room for you to wiggle your toes.

3. Watch out when playing sports
Playing sports that involve a lot of stopping and starting or contact between your foot and the ball puts a great deal of pressure on your toes and can result in ingrown toenails. If you play a sport like soccer or tennis, you should wear special shoes with reinforced toes to avoid injury.

4. Practice good foot hygiene
You can prevent ingrown toenail infections by cleaning your feet regularly with soap and water and changing your socks frequently. You should also make sure to use clean nail clippers or scissors.

Help children with foot care
Children often develop ingrown toenails from cutting their toenails incorrectly or wearing shoes that are too small. If you’re the parent of a young child, clip their nails for them until they can handle the clippers themselves and teach them how to trim their toenails straight across and not too short. Since kids’ feet grow so quickly, you should also check to make sure they’re still wearing the right size shoe every couple of months.

Visit a foot doctor in Edmonton
If you have an ingrown toenail that’s causing you discomfort, you should see a foot doctor before your condition gets worse. At the Edmonton Foot Health Clinic, our podiatrists and dedicated staff have experience dealing with a whole range of foot problems, from bunions to athlete’s foot and more. For your convenience, we offer weekend hours and can accommodate walk-ins. To learn more or make an appointment, contact us today.

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