In our last blog we spoke about the changing seasons and how in the Amy Maclean Podiatry clinic, I can tell the changing seasons from your foot ailmentsâ¦ of course, hobbies and sports aside, but generally a patient trend will give an indication of the time of year. Which leads us onto the subject of ingrown toenails!
What is an ingrown toenail?
As the name says, an ingrown toenail is when the sides of a nail (commonly the big toe nail) pierce the skin and continues to grow into the flesh part of the toe. This results in the toe becoming very red, swollen and painful to touch.
How do you get ingrown toenails?
There are a number of reasons that you can develop an ingrown nail, namely:
- badly cut toe nails ( cutting your nails too short or cutting the corners off your nails will encourage the skin to fold over the edge of the nail leading to the nail growing into the toe)
- wearing tight fitting shoes or tights/socks (doing this increases the pressure on the skin surrounding the nail)
- natural shape of nail (if your nails are naturally curved, there is an increased chance of a nail growing in)
- injury (stubbing your foot or dropping something on your foot can result in an ingrown toenail)
How to treat an ingrown toenail?
Without treatment, an ingrown toenail can become infected. It is important to get it seen too as soon as possible, this means visiting your local podiatrist. *cough* #podsfixfeet
What you can do to help prevent an infection starting up in the affected nail:
- keep your feet clean and dry
- change your socks regularly
- cut your toenails straight to prevent ay spur of nail growing in
- wear comfortable shoes that do not pinch at the toes
How to prevent an ingrown nail?
- taking a small amount of time, even once a week, to look after your feet will help reduce the risk of an ingrown nail – basically anytime I mention foot MOT or maintenance
- cutting your nails straight across, not at an angle or down the sides is best
- wash your feet regularly, dry them thoroughly and apply a foot moisturiser (ideally a cream that contains urea as it nourishes all layers of the skin)