Ingrown Toenails

Foot and Ankle Specialists located in San Diego, CA

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common problem. Expert podiatrist Trent Brookshier, DPM, at North Park Podiatry in San Diego, California, has the expertise and experience to treat ingrown toenails and provide guidance on preventing them. To learn more, call the office today or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment when you’re ready.

Ingrown Toenails Q&A

What are ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails are a common and often painful foot condition where the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin rather than over it, leading to redness, swelling, and sometimes infection. 

Ingrown toenails typically occur on the big toe, although they can affect any toe. While they might seem like a minor issue, they can be quite uncomfortable and, if left untreated, can lead to more severe complications.

What causes ingrown toenails?

The development of ingrown toenails can happen for several reasons. Improper trimming of your nails is the most common cause. Cutting your toenails too short, rounding the edges, or cutting them at an angle can encourage the nails to grow into the skin. 

Tight-fitting shoes or socks can also squeeze your toes and push the nail into your skin. In addition, injury or trauma to the toenail, genetic predisposition, and poor foot hygiene can increase your risk of ingrown toenails.

How are ingrown toenails prevented?

Preventing ingrown toenails involves a combination of proper foot care and shoe choices:

Trim nails correctly

Trim your toenails straight across and avoid rounding the edges. Don’t cut them too short.

Wear appropriate footwear

Choose shoes that provide ample room for your toes, preventing compression of the toenails against the skin. Avoid pointy or tight shoes.

Good foot hygiene

Keep your feet clean and dry to prevent infections that can exacerbate ingrown toenails.

Avoid nail trauma

Protect your toes from injury, and be cautious when engaging in activities that could harm your toenails.

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

You can take proactive steps to prevent ingrown toenails. Always use the right tools for trimming your nails and trim them after a bath or shower when they are softer. Be gentle, and avoid cutting too close to your skin. Opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes with enough toe space. 

Ensure you maintain good foot hygiene, thoroughly drying your feet after bathing and keeping your nails clean. If you notice the early signs of an ingrown toenail, such as pain or redness, try soaking your foot in warm water and gently lifting the nail edge. If the problem persists or becomes painful, call North Park Podiatry to prevent complications.

If you have an ingrown toenail or want to learn how to care for your toes and feet, call or book an appointment online today.