Sure, ingrown toenails may not seem like a big deal…until you get one.
An ingrown toenail might not sound like such a serious foot problem, but it can cause some rather nasty complications for the health of your toenail and foot if you aren’t careful. From pain and swelling to the potential for an infection, ingrown toenails come with a host of issues. Why put up with it if you don’t have to? Our Butte and Bozeman, MT, podiatrists, Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd, are here to tell you what you can do to prevent ingrown toenails from happening.
Examine Your Shoes
Take a look at the shoes you wear on a regular basis. Are these shoes that allow your toes room to wiggle and move, or do they bunch toes together and put pressure on them? If it’s the latter, then you may just want to swap out those poorly fitted shoes for shoes that provide better comfort for your feet. If you are someone who is prone to ingrown toenails, it’s also a good idea to consider buying shoes that offer more breathable, natural materials, as they are less likely to cause ingrown toenail complications (e.g. an infection).
Be Careful When You Trim
A lot of people make this mistake when it comes to trimming their nails. There is a right and wrong way to cut your toenails. It’s a good rule of thumb to trim nails so that they are level with the tips of your toes. If you cut nails too low, you risk an ingrown toenail. The same goes for the shape. If you trim your nails at a curved angle, it’s time to stop. Curved nails are prone to ingrown toenails. Trim nails straight across and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
Whether you get your toes done professionally at your local nail salon or you like to give yourself a little pampering pedicure, it’s important that you just say no to trimming or cutting your cuticles. Just leave the cuticles alone and you’ll be fine.
While many people can treat ingrown toenails on their own, if you are developing signs of an infection (e.g. redness, skin that is warm to the touch or pus/drainage coming from the nail) or if you have also been diagnosed with diabetes or nerve damage, it’s important that you seek care right away from the foot specialists at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Bozeman and Butte, MT.