Most people, at some point in their lives, will experience the discomfort of an ingrown toenail. This condition, which is also known as onychocryptosis or unguis incarnate, is one of the most common foot disorders treated by the foot doctors at Foot Health Podiatry in Manhattan, New York and Amsterdam, NY. Below, Dr. Sorelis Jimenez, Dr. John Fletcher, and Dr. Kamilla Danilova explain what causes an ingrown toenail and what steps you can take to prevent them.
How do ingrown toenails happen?
An ingrown toenail, which most commonly affects the big toe, is the result of the nail wedging itself into the tissue of the nail bed at its corners. Most of the time, your Manhattan and Amsterdam foot doctor finds that trimming the nails incorrectly is the cause; other people develop them from tight-fitting or narrow shoes or after an injury to the toenail. Regardless of how it happens, the symptoms are the same: reddened, swollen skin around one or both edges of the toenail, sharp pain from even the slightest pressure, and bleeding or discharge of pus due to infection.
How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?
Although ingrown toenails are very treatable, preventing them is fairly simple if you follow your Manhattan and Amsterdam foot doctor's recommendations. The most important step is to trim the toenails straight across; attempting to follow the toe's natural curved shape can cause the nail to bend and grow improperly. Taking care not to trim the nail too short can also help to prevent ingrowth. If you routinely wear narrow shoes that crowd your toes, you can also put yourself at risk for an ingrown nail. Talk to your podiatrist about the types and brands of shoes that provide plenty of room in the toe area.
Contact Foot Health Podiatry if you have further questions about ingrown toenails or need to make an appointment with one of our foot doctors in Manhattan, New York and Amsterdam, NY.