While some people have a genetic tendency to develop ingrown toenails, the main causes can often be easily treated or avoided altogether. Painful swelling, bleeding, and infections are common symptoms, and for the poor folks who have several toes affected at once, the condition can be quite debilitating and frustrating to treat properly without the help of your foot doctor.
4 common causes of ingrown toenails include the following:
- Poor toe nail-cutting technique—Not taking the time to cut your toenails properly is very likely the main cause of this condition. If you take care to cut your toenails straight across and a bit longer than your toe, then many cases of ingrown toenails will be avoided.
- Toe injury—Injuring your toes can happen suddenly and unexpectedly by stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on the front of your foot. This could contribute to the toenail growing abnormally into the skin.
- Poorly fitting footwear—Always wear properly fitted footwear and make sure the toe box is wide enough for your toes to move freely without rubbing.
- Fungal toenails—A fungal toenail infection can change the shape of the nail and cause the nail to grow into the surrounding tender tissue.
Because it is not always obvious that an improperly growing toenail is the cause of your pain and discomfort, you may need to have your foot doctor perform an evaluation to pinpoint the cause. In more obvious cases, pus, swelling, and redness will be evident where the nail is growing into your tender skin. Warmth and oozing are signs of infection that could spread and cause other complications.
If you are currently experiencing ingrown toenail problems seeing your podiatrist is the best way to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.