As the weather is cooling and more and more people are putting their open toed shoes away for the winter, the office has been seeing a big influx of ingrown toe nails; medically known as Onychocryptosis. An ingrown toe nail is when the nail grows into the skin. It is commonly seen on the big toe but can occur in any toe. Ingrown toe nails can occur when a person improperly trims their toenails. Cutting your toe nails too short can cause them to start growing into your skin. This can cause some mild discomfort and if it is not taken care of right away, it can cause an infection in the skin around the toenail. Shoes are the perfect environment for bacteria to grow! The dark, warm and moist environment of shoes create ideal situations for bacteria to grow. The symptoms of ingrown toe nails are redness and puffiness and pain around the sides of the nail. Ingrown toe nails are very easy to prevent; here are some tips and tricks to keep your toes ingrown toe nail free!
- Cut your toe nails straight across. Try not to cut them down to short.
- Wear properly fitting shoes. Wearing shoes that are too tight or two short can cause your toe nails to grow into the skin.
- If you are diabetic, make sure to check your feet every day.
If the ingrown nail is filled with pus, warm or badly swollen you should make an appointment to be seen by a podiatrist. It is important to catch an infection in the toe as soon as possible so it does not spread. If you are diabetic and have an ingrown toe nail you should always make an appointment to be seen by your podiatrist because diabetes can influence the way that your ingrown toenail heals. Ingrown toe nails are common but can become troublesome if not treated properly. Always consult your podiatrist if you have any questions or concerns about ingrown toe nails!