Summer Foot Hazards #4: The ingrown nail

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

Summer is a time we tend to push our feet to the max, whether we are tearing up the soccer field, pulling on our hiking boots to hit the trails or working long hours in those hot landscaping boots. A common complaint we hear from our patients is that they have developed a painful area along the edges of their big toes: an ingrown toenail.

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of the nail grow or are driven into the surrounding skin. This can cause a shooting pain as it put pressure on the nerve and the area may also become infected. Ingrown toenails may be caused by socks or shoes that are too tight or by injury. Other causes of ingrown toenails include fungal infection, psoriasis, heredity, or poor foot structure.

The good news is that most mild ingrown toenails can be treated at home by soaking the area in warm, soapy water, and trimming away the ingrown part of the nail. However, if that makes you feel squeamish, book an appointment with your chiropodist to professionally treat your nail. Your chiropodist will trim the nail properly, gently lift the edge free and pack the area with sterile cotton to prevent reoccurrence. If the toenail has become infected, your chiropodist will be able to clean up the area and prescribe any necessary medication to clear up the infection.

If your ingrown nail is severe or a reoccurring issue, our team of trained professionals offers a more permanent solution: Nail Surgery. Book an appointment with your Chiropodist to assess if this is the right treatment plan for you.

People living with Diabetes should never attempt to resolve an ingrown toenail. Specialized diabetic footcare is required and available with our team.

Perhaps the last thing to address is how to prevent ingrown toenails.

  • Always ensure that your footwear fits properly: there must be enough room in the toe box of the shoe
  • Ensure your socks are not too tight
  • Trim your toenails straight across, not curved in at the end of the nails
  • Do not trim your toenails too short. Allow a slight overhang beyond the skin of the toe

If you are experiencing an ingrown toenail, book your appointment today to have it assessed and treated by our team of professional Chiropodists. We are a friendly bunch and look forward to answering any questions you may have about your feet!

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