How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Toenails

Dec 05, 2023
How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Toenails
If you’re prone to ingrown toenails, you might be wondering how to better treat them or even prevent one from developing in the first place. We answer those questions and more here.

Ingrown toenails are common foot problems that occur when your nail starts growing into the skin around the nail bed. As a result, the surrounding skin can break and cause pain and swelling.

Even though ingrown toenails are so common, it’s important to do everything you can to prevent them and treat them properly if you do get one. This is because ingrown toenails can easily become infected and cause more serious issues.

Because of this, our expert podiatry team at Ledesma Foot and Ankle in Scottsdale, Arizona wants to give you plenty of ways to prevent and treat ingrown toenails to keep your toenails and feet healthy.

Preventing ingrown toenails

In order to know how to prevent an ingrown toenail in the first place, it’s helpful to understand what often causes them. 

Some common causes of ingrown toenails are:

  • Wearing shoes that crowd your feet
  • Cutting your toenails improperly
  • Injuring your toe
  • Having naturally curved toenails
  • Ripping the corner of your nail

You’re also going to be more at risk if your feet sweat excessively, you have reduced blood flow in your feet, you wear ill-fitting shoes, or you participate in activities such as running or kicking that cause trauma to your toes.

In order to prevent ingrown toenails we recommend wearing shoes that fit you properly and don’t overcrowd your toes; cut your toenails straight across and not too short; wear protective footwear when necessary; and do daily foot checks for any signs of foot issues.

Treating ingrown toenails

Even if you follow these precautions carefully, you might still end up with an ingrown toenail. 

If this is the case, you can start with some at-home remedies. These include soaking your nail in warm water with Epsom salt, keeping your foot clean and dry, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and wearing roomy shoes. However, you should never try to remove the affected nail yourself.

If you find these don’t give you relief or you notice any signs of infection such as pus drainage or severe pain, it’s important to come in and see us for prompt and proper treatment. We can start with antibiotics to treat the infection, but we may need to do a partial or total nail removal to keep the ingrown toenail from getting worse or coming back.

For more information on preventing and treating ingrown toenails, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions you may have. You can contact us by giving us a call at 602-753-9403 or by using our online form today.