Tips from a New York Podiatrist | How to Keep an Ingrown Toenail from Getting Worse

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Oct 16, 2013 11:22:00 AM

trimming toenailsWe’ve all probably experienced an ingrown toenail. It often seems to appear out of nowhere. It starts as a mild irritant you try to ignore or will to go away, only it doesn’t. In fact, ingrown toenails can be just plain stubborn and turn into an infection if not taken care of. A New York podiatrist from Adler Footcare explains how to keep an ingrown toenail from getting worse.


What causes an ingrown toenail?


Ingrown toenails are most common on the big toe and occur when the nail of the big toe begins to grow into the sides of the skin. It can be caused by:


  • Shoes that don’t fit correctly and put added pressure on the toenail
  • Improper nail trimming
  • Injury to the toenail
  • Fungal infection
  • Poor foot structure
  • Heredity


Of course, it’s always good to know how to prevent an ingrown toenail in the first place. A New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare recommends:


  • Trimming your nails straight across so there are no rounded corners. This will help to direct your nails to grow straight out instead of sideways into the skin.
  • Wearing shoes that fit correctly and aren’t too tight.
  • Practicing good foot hygiene by keeping them clean and dry.


How to Keep an Ingrown Toenail from Getting Worse


If an ingrown toenail is left untreated then you run the risk of it getting infected and possibly needing ingrown toenail surgery. However, there are simple treatment options that you can try to keep an ingrown toenail from getting worse.


  • Don’t ignore it. This is probably the most important. Don’t consider your ingrown toenail to just be an annoyance that will correct itself on its own. Recognize that you have an ingrown toenail and catch it early on to avoid infection.
  • Soak your foot. Try soaking the foot with the ingrown toenail in warm, soapy water at least once a day, more if you can.
  • Avoid wearing improperly fitting shoes. Shoes and socks that are too tight can cause the ingrown toenail to get worse. A New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare can help you find shoes that provide the right fit for you.
  • Take antibiotics. If your ingrown toenail is at the point where it is red, swollen, possibly oozing pus, and painful, then it is already infected. In this case you will want to see a New York podiatrist to be prescribed an antibiotic.
  • Surgery. In extreme cases, ingrown toenail surgery may have to be done.


Ingrown Toenail Surgery


Ingrown toenail surgery is a minimally invasive procedure. It’s a common treatment done by injecting the affected toe with an anesthetic and cutting out the parts of the toenail that have become ingrown. A New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare will cut the edges of the toenail to make it narrower. This gives the toenail a straight edge and makes it less likely for the toenail to dig into the skin around it as it continues to grow out. Dr. Adler is one of only several professors of minimally invasive surgery in the country, so if your ingrown toenail is bad enough, and you need surgery, you’ll be in good hands.


If you’re suffering from an ingrown toenail a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare can help you learn how to keep an ingrown toenail from getting worse or recommend the best treatment option for you. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment. Contact us today for a free consultation.


Topics: Foot Care, Tips from a New York Podiatrist