What’s more painful and bothersome than an ingrown toenail? If you’re the active type, and maybe even if you’re not, they cause a significant amount of distress and irritation. It seems like all you can think about is that annoying ingrown toenail.
Fortunately, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting one. And, you can speed up your recovery time in the event your toenail becomes ingrown.
First, Start with the General Causes of In-Grown Toenails
One of the most common causes is rounding the edges when you cut your toenails. It’s easily prevented. Simply cut your toenails straight across.
And believe it or not, people do bite their toenails. Yes, this is serious. As a podiatrist, I can tell you this from experience. It’s a tough habit to break if you’ve been in it for some time. Consider a “nibble inhibitor” (awful-tasting liquid) to help break you of this habit.
Some people cut their toenails too short. You should never experience pain when trimming your toenails. It likely means you’ve cut into the pulp of your toe, or the nailbed. Your toenail should come out ahead of your toe pad after trimming.
Pedicurists can make mistakes too. If they put an acrylic overlay on your toenails, this may change the shape of your nail so it grows into your toe.
Traumas that Cause Ingrown Toenails
Any kicking sport, like kickball or soccer, can cause ingrown toenails. Surprisingly, it’s not the kicking that causes the ingrown toenail. It’s either improper trimming or the downward force of running and quick sprinting that causes this. Allow your toenails to remain grown beyond the toe pad on both sides of the nail.
Another pedicure injury is infection of the skin around your toenails (paronychia). Bacteria and yeast can cause this type of infection.
Finally, any traumatic injury to your toes can lead to an ingrown toenail. For example, if you move heavy objects and drop one on your toe.
Fungal Causes of Ingrown Toenails
When toenail fungus takes control, it can deform your nail and lead to an ingrown toenail. A topical antifungal, oral medication, or laser nail treatment (with the painless Noveon Laser, for example) can be used to cure this. Nail avulsion (removal of the nail from its primary attachments) or chemical or surgical destruction of your nail may also be required.
A Genetic Cause of Ingrown Toenails
Pincer nail deformity is a relatively rare, genetically inherited condition. The sides of your nails curve way more than they should, which compresses the nailbed and underlying skin. It can also cause your toenails to become ingrown.
General Treatment Procedure for Ingrown Toenails
You already learned some specific procedures for taking care of ingrown toenails. The general treatment procedure in most cases will be as follows:
The treatment depends on the conditions of your ingrown toenail. Regardless, you know how to avoid ingrown toenails in most cases so you don’t have to experience any unnecessary pain.