Ingrown toenails are a painful and irritating condition that affects people of all ages. They occur when the nail grows into the skin around the toe, causing discomfort, swelling, and infection. If you have ingrown toenails, you do not have to live with the pain they cause; seeking podiatry Clarksville services to treat your condition can improve your quality of life. In addition, you can take several steps to prevent ingrown toenails. Here are ways to prevent ingrown toenails.
Trim your nails properly
One of the main causes of ingrown toenails is improperly trimmed nails. When you cut your nails too short or round them off at the edges, they are more likely to grow into the surrounding skin. To prevent this from happening, ensure you trim your nails straight across and avoid rounding the corners. You should also avoid cutting them too short, which can cause the skin to fold over and trap the nail.
Another tip is to use proper tools when trimming your nails. A good quality pair of nail clippers with a straight edge is the best choice. Avoid using scissors or other sharp objects that could cause injury or damage to the nail.
Wear proper footwear
Wearing ill-fitting shoes or too-tight socks can also contribute to ingrown toenails. When cramped or compressed, your toes are more likely to develop painful ingrown nails. To prevent this, ensure your shoes fit comfortably and have enough space in the toe box for your toes to move freely. Also, choose socks made of breathable materials with a good amount of stretch.
Keep your feet clean and dry
Keeping your feet clean and dry is another important step in preventing ingrown toenails. Bacteria and fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so keep your feet as dry as possible. Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or swimming, and avoid wearing damp shoes.
You should also keep your toenails clean and free of debris. Use mild soap and warm water to clean your toes gently, and be sure to dry them thoroughly afterward. If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge, immediately see a doctor.
Avoid injury to your toes
Injuries to your toes can also increase your risk of developing ingrown toenails. Stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on it can cause the nail to become damaged or grow into the skin. To prevent this, wear protective footwear when necessary, such as steel-toed boots for work or athletic shoes for exercise. Also, be careful when walking barefoot or in sandals, as this can increase your risk of injury.
See a podiatrist
If you are prone to ingrown toenails or have a particularly stubborn case, it may be time to see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can help diagnose the problem and provide you with treatment options, such as removing the affected portion of the nail or prescribing antibiotics if an infection is present. They can also advise you on how to prevent ingrown toenails from happening in the future.
Call Gateway Foot and Ankle Center to book your appointment for treatment of ingrown toenails.