If you have ever had an ingrown nail then you know that it can be extremely painful and can cause serious discomfort. An ingrown nail can become red and swollen and if the nail punctures the skin then bacteria could get in to the wound and lead to an infection. Roxbury Foot & Ankle has provided 3 ways to help prevent an ingrown nail:
1) Do not cut your nail too short. It may be tempting to cut your nails short so that you do not have to do it again any time soon. We understand that cutting your nails is not the most fun task of the day however it is less fun to have an ingrown nail. If you have a history of developing ingrown nails it may be tempting to cut out the corners. This will relieve the ingrown nail temporarily but doing this will set you up for repeated ingrown nails. Here are some tips when cutting your nails:
- Clean your nails (after a bath or shower is a good time);
- Clean your nail clippers;
- Let your nails grow long enough for you to be able to see the corners. If you can’t see the corners they are too short. Cutting nails too short is the most common cause for ingrown nails. If you are a woman who likes pedicures you should discourage your technician from cutting too short or into the corners; and
- Cut the nail straight across — do not curve around the nail or cut into the corners.
2) Don’t wear shoes that are too tight or Loose. Shoes that are too tight can push the nail down in to the skin and cause the nail to grow in towards the toe. Wearing them too loose can cause your foot to slide forward and create impact on your nails. This is also the case with socks. Make sure your feet can breath and that it does not put pressure on the nail.
3) Wear protective gear. Repeatedly kicking something, like a soccer ball, can lead to the toe nail being pushed in to the skin. Wearing protective footwear can deter some of the impact on your nails, which reduces the chances of having an ingrown nail.
If after following these steps you still develop ingrown nails there is an office procedure that can prevent them from growing back.
If you feel like you do have an ingrown nail, we at Roxbury Foot and Ankle Center in Morris County, NJ are here to help.