Has your toe been bothering you lately? Especially when you put your shoes on, or something happens to brush it, even just slightly? If the foot pain is that intense and your toe is swollen next to your toenail, you may have an ingrown toenail.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail into the skin in your toe. Once your toenail starts growing into the skin it becomes irritated, inflamed and can even become infected. The pressure often causes you foot pain and discomfort.
Ingrown toenails often happen on the big toenails more so than any other one. This is likely due to them being in contact more with the front of your shoes and such. Ingrown toenails are often caused by improper nail care, trimming the toenails too short or wearing shoes that are too tight.
This video helps to depict how an ingrown toenail is formed:
So you think you may have an ingrown toenail? Before you get to working on it, here are some things you should NEVER do:
Posted by Abbott Foot and Ankle Clinic
- Cut your toenails too short, cut a notch in the nail, or trim off the corners. When nails are trimmed too closely, the skin pushes over them more easily when any pressure is applied to your toes. The nail can puncture the skin, increasing your risk for infection.
- Wear tight shoes or high heels. Anything that pinches your toes together or shoves them forward into the front of the shoe causes friction and pressure that can make your toenail worse.
- Buy expensive treatments for ingrown nails from the store. They may work to mask the pain for a little while, but do nothing to correct the underlying problem.
- Treat ingrown nails yourself if you have diabetes. Complications of this disease often make you less able to feel pain and slower to heal when cuts occur. You could easily hurt your toe and it could become infected. It is best to let us deal with your damaged nail.
- Ignore it and hope it goes away! You don’t want infection to set in.
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If you think you have an ingrown nail the best solution is to see a professional for medical treatment. If you mess with it yourself you can cause more damage and create some major foot pain for yourself. A podiatrist will be able to properly treat your ingrown toenail so that it does not become more infected or irritated. In order to treat an ingrown toenail correctly, the part of the nail that grew into the skin needs to be cut out.
We suggest contacting a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare for your recommended treatment options if you are experiencing any kind of foot pain. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment. We look forward to helping you.