An ingrown toenail is most likely to occur on the big toe, and is characterized by the edge of your toenail growing sideways and pushing into the skin of your toe, rather than growing over the top of it. Older folks are more susceptible to developing ingrown toenails, although this painful and often easily avoided condition can strike kids too.
Here are some of the causes of ingrown toenails that you need to be aware of:
1.Poorly cut nails—This is by far the number one easily preventable cause of an ingrown toenail. You can avoid this fate by paying careful attention and cut your nails straight across and not too short. This prevents the nail from getting a start growing in the wrong direction in the first place.
2.Tightly fitting shoes—can press on your toes and force the nail to push into the sensitive skin on your toe, possibly causing an ingrown toenail.
3.Genetic predisposition—As with many foot problems, the likelihood of getting ingrown toenails may be passed down from your parents, which is all the more reason to keep vigilant about proper care and nail cutting technique.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include:
1.Severe pain, swelling, and oozing—Sometimes it may not be obvious that a nail is growing inward and causing these problems. Look for red, swollen skin, and if you notice a yellowish fluid or pus that is a sign that you have an infection.
2.Touch sensitivity—Lightly bumping your toe or having it rub on the inside of your footwear can be very painful when you have an ingrown toenail.
Treating an ingrown toenail yourself can be difficult since you have to get under the edge of the nail and prop it up so it doesn’t continue to grow inward. This can be a painful undertaking is best left to the hands of an experienced foot specialist.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.