Ingrown toenails are a common occurrence in our society, mainly because footwear is required in most public environments. When toes are confined into shoes that do not fit well, the pressure can cause the toenails to become ingrown and painful. Dr. Bryan Sheehan, podiatrist at Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, AR, offers a few tips for treating ingrown toenails here.
What are ingrown toenails?
When the growth pattern of a toenail - most often the big toe - is impeded by ill-fitting shoes, tight socks or hosiery, or improper trimming, it can begin growing into the skin around the nail. This results in pain and swelling that can be extremely uncomfortable. Ingrown toenails most often affect teens and adults.
How can I treat my ingrown toenail?
At the first sign of an ingrown toenail, your Bentonville podiatrist suggests soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salts mixed in. When done twice a day for about 15 minutes at a time, it can help relieve pain, bring down swelling, and promote healing. You can also use a blunt, flat instrument to gently push the skin away from the toenail after each soak. Applying antibiotic ointment to the area can also prevent infection from developing.
It's important to remember that if an ingrown toenail has become infected, seeing a podiatrist like Dr. Bryan Sheehan in Bentonville should be your first priority. Signs of infection include severe pain, pus and spreading redness. Diabetic patients should see their podiatrist at the first sign of any foot injury or wound, including ingrown toenails, to prevent complications associated with their condition.
How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
By trimming your toenails straight across - as opposed to rounding them off - and wearing properly-fitting shoes, you can often eliminate the possibility of ingrown toenails developing. Your podiatrist, Dr. Bryan Sheehan, can give you more information on proper nail care.
Contact Ankle & Foot Centers of Mid-America in Bentonville, AR for any questions or concerns you may have about ingrown toenails and other foot-related issues!