How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Any nail can become ingrown, but it’s more common in the toes than in the fingers, and most common in the big toe. An ingrown nail occurs for one of two reasons:

  1. The skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the nail itself
  2. The nail grows into the skin around it

In either case, you experience a painful, hard, red swelling at the nail’s corner, often followed by an infection. You may see a small amount of pus leaking from the site of the growth.

At Monroe Foot & Ankle Care in Jamesburg, New Jersey, podiatric physician and surgeon Dr. Elliott Perel and his team are well versed in the problem of ingrown toenails. Since this problem can largely be prevented, they put together this guide to help you understand what you need to do to keep your feet healthy and happy.

Ingrown toenail causes

You’re likely to develop ingrown nails for many reasons, including:

If the cause of the ingrown toenail continues, the skin growing over the nail can create permanent tissue changes, leading to infection, more pain, and more swelling.

Treating ingrown toenails

As soon as you notice your toenail is becoming ingrown, you should start with some at-home remedies to prevent it from progressing to an infection. Some suggestions include:

If you don’t see an improvement in 2-3 days, or if the condition worsens, including becoming infected, make an appointment to see Dr. Perel. Some treatments he can provide include:

He may also provide surgical options, removing part of the nail, part of the underlying nail bed, some of the adjacent soft tissues, and/or part of the growth center. He may also use laser technology to permanently prevent regrowth of the ingrown portion.

Preventing ingrown toenails

Unless you have a congenital problem leading to ingrown nails, the best way to prevent the problem includes the following foot health practices:

If, despite your best preventive efforts, you do get an ingrown toenail, especially if it becomes infected, contact Monroe Foot & Ankle Care to set up an appointment. You can give the office a call at 732-328-6798, or you can book online.

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