No matter what area of life we are discussing, it is always better to prevent a bad situation than have to deal with one. Of course, this is certainly the case in the field of medicine! We can provide treatment for a wide range of foot and ankle problems, but you probably would rather not have an issue develop in the first place.
The good news is that many lower limb issues are preventable, and sometimes this includes ingrown toenails.
Before we offer ingrown toenail prevention tips, it’s important to note that some cases simply cannot be prevented. Sometimes ingrown nails happen as the result of an inherited toenail structure that is unusually curved. If you have a nail that continually becomes ingrown (no matter what you do about it), this is the most likely explanation. In such a case, we may recommend permanently removing the nail.
There are also many instances wherein an ingrown toenail can be prevented. You can lower your risk of having this condition happen as the result of controllable causes by taking the following measures:
- Use proper nail trimming procedures. Too often, ingrown toenails develop on account of nails either being rounded off or trimmed too short. Instead, always clip them straight across and keep them even with the edge of the toe. If you are cutting a nail to the proper length, there should be a little bit of a white tip left when you are done.
- Wear shoes that fit well. Another cause of nails becoming ingrown is excessively tight footwear that crowds the toes together. There are a multitude of reasons for wearing shoes that fit properly, but “preventing ingrown toenails” is definitely on the list. Always make sure new footwear has enough space in front so toes can freely wiggle.
- Protect your feet. Physical trauma is yet another common reason for toenails that become ingrown. Often, this is a matter of a weighty object being accidentally dropped on a foot. If your job requires you to frequently move hefty items, invest in a pair of steel-toed boots or safety shoes. Additionally, if you are moving furniture or heavy objects at home, be sure to ask for help.
We hope these methods help you to prevent ingrown toenails, but we know they may still develop. If this happens to you, there is no need to suffer from the pain or risk infection. Instead, simply make an appointment with us to receive the care you need. Call us at (510) 647-3744 or use our online form to schedule your appointment with our Berkeley, CA office today.