If you are constantly suffering from recurring ingrown toenails, you may feel locked in a never-ending cycle. What keeps causing them, and what can you do about it? Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, explains how to break the cycle.
You’re wearing incorrect shoes
Studies have shown that more than half of us regularly wear shoes that are the wrong size. If that sounds like you, your odds of experiencing an ingrown toenail are higher than they otherwise would be. Tight shoes constrict and pinch your toes, stifle the growth of your nails, and cause them to grow downward into the surrounding skin.
It could be that you chose the wrong width or length, but it could also be that the style of the shoe may not be a good fit for your feet. The same applies to shoes that are too large, which tend to slide around on your feet, causing toenails to repeatedly bump into the front of the shoe.
You’re cutting your toenails incorrectly
You may be wondering how this could be possible. If you haven’t been shown how to correctly trim your toenails, you might be accidentally allowing the development of ingrown nails.
The three major mistakes people make when cutting toenails include:
- trimming them too short,
- growing them too long,
- or overly curving the corners.
Ideally, toenails should be even with the top of the toe, trimming them straight from corner to corner and gently filing them.
We recommend that you use a personally dedicated toenail clipper, never share foot care tools. Clippers that have wider and longer arms will provide more leverage for a clean cut. Trim your toenails when they’re dry to decrease the risk of tearing.
Your toenails are naturally curved
If you consistently get ingrown toenails, you may be prone to them based on their shape. Even if you trim your toenails correctly and wear good shoes, curved nails may keep finding the surrounding flesh time and again.
Breaking the Ingrown Toenail Cycle
A single development of an ingrown toenail can usually be relieved easily and quickly in a single appointment. And the good news is that we can also remove the ingrown edge or corner of the nail and the tiny slice of the nail bed that generates new nail tissue along that edge.
And although the recovery time is a bit longer for this procedure, you should still be able to return to your regular activities the following day. The great news is that your chances of getting another ingrown toenail along that edge of the toe will be next to nil.
If you need help breaking the seemingly unending cycle of ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, to schedule a checkup. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.