Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Dealing with ingrown toenails rather regularly? Find out what’s going on.
You were putting your shoes on when ouch! You noticed that the edge of your big toenail is a bit sore and perhaps even a little swollen and red. You could be dealing with an ingrown toenail. If you find yourself dealing with this issue rather regularly then it may have you wondering what could be going on. Our Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin are here to tell you more.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is when the edge or corner of the toenail grows into the skin. While this can happen to any toenail it most commonly occurs in the big toe. Just looking at the toenail you should be able to see if the corner of the nail is sticking into the skin. Redness, swelling, and discomfort may also result. If there is drainage around the nail or if the skin is warm to the touch, these are signs of infection and you should call our Alexandria and Sterling foot doctors immediately.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
There are many habits that could play into your likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. Common causes include:
- Damage or trauma to the nail (this is common if you play sports)
- Persistent or severe fungal infections of the toenail (it causes the nail to thicken)
- Improper nail trimming techniques
- Poorly fitted or tight-fitted shoes
You might be wondering how someone could trim toenails incorrectly; after all, it seems a rather easy habit. However, if you trim your toenails too short or if you trim the nails so they are curved then you are increasing your risk for an ingrown toenail. Trim nails straight across and make sure not to cut them too short.
Also, if you are someone who wears high heels a lot, or wears shoes that bunch up your toes and put pressure on them then you may also find yourself dealing with this issue more often. Make sure you are only wearing shoes that have a wide toe box and that don’t put pressure on areas of your feet.
Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, is here to provide your feet with the care they need to look and feel their best. No matter whether you are dealing with ingrown toenails, bunions, or heel pain, our expert team is here for you.