Preventing Ingrown Toenails

Do you suffer from ingrown toenails? Preventing them can be as easy as taking a few simple precautions. If you continue to experience ingrown toenails, your Sugar Land and Houston, TX, podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Institute offer effective treatments.

Ingrown toenails are more than just a nuisance

You may only experience occasional tenderness or twinges of pain if your ingrown nail has just started to grow into your skin. If the nail isn't freed, it will penetrate the deeper layers of your skin, causing pain that increases when you wear shoes or put pressure on your toe.

Infected toenails can put your health at risk, particularly if you have diabetes. Signs of infection can include red streaks on your toe, increased warmth in your toe, pus, an unpleasant odor, and a fever. If you notice signs of infection, call your Sugar Land, and Houston, TX, foot doctor immediately.

Fortunately, it's possible to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails and infections by following these recommendations:

  • Change Your Nail Cutting Technique: Cut your nails straight across. Rounding the nails makes it much easier for the edges of the nails to grow into your skin.
  • Don't Cut Your Nails Too Short: Your nails may be more likely to become ingrown if they're too short. Keep them even with the top of your toes.
  • Avoid Tight-Fitting Socks and Shoes: Shoes and socks that fit snugly increase pressure on your toes and may force the nails into the skin. Don't make a habit of wearing tight shoes. Shoes and socks that offer a little wiggle room are the best choices.
  • Protect Your Feet: Dropping cans and heavy objects on your feet also increases your ingrown toenail risk. Secure cans and other items to prevent them from falling on your feet. If you work around objects that may fall, wear sturdy or steel-plated shoes.
  • Treat Toenail Fungus Promptly: Fungus thickens the nails, making it easier for the nails to pierce your skin. Keeping toenail fungus under control may help you avoid ingrown nails.
  • Know When to Call the Podiatrist: If you can't free your nail at home by soaking your toe in warm water, call your foot doctor. He or she can remove the trapped portion of your nail, helping you avoid pain and infection. Don't try to free the nail yourself if you have diabetes.

End your ingrown toenail pain with a visit to the podiatrists Dr. Asia Lo, Dr. Manish Patel, and Dr. Usman Sultan at the Foot & Ankle Institute in Sugar Land, and Houston, TX. Call the office at (281) 531-4100 to schedule your appointment.

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