Understanding Ingrown Toenails
Every week at Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A., Dr. James M. McKee treats patients with ingrown toenails. While ingrown toenails typically cause some discomfort, for most people, they are merely bothersome. However, for people with diabetes or other health conditions, an ingrown toenail can lead to infection or other more serious issues.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails
There are many things that you can do to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails:
- Foot health begins with good hygiene. Keep feet clean. Wash your toes and toenails frequently and dry them well.
- Get to know your feet. When you are aware of their natural state, you will be more alert to potential problems as they appear.
- Inspect your feet regularly. If it’s hard for you to see them, place a mirror on the floor to get a better look.
- Keep your feet well-maintained. Don’t let your toenails grow too long.
- Trim toenails with a toenail clipper, rather than with a scissors. These clippers are typically wider than a fingernail clipper and can easily handle the job. Leave toenails even with the tips of your toes and trim them straight across. Don’t round the corners, as you might on your fingers. If the corners of your toenails still feel sharp after you trim them, smooth them with a nail file.
- Never cut or pick at your cuticles.
- Shoe size can change as we age. Have your feet professionally measured if it’s been more than a year since your last fitting. Make sure your shoes are not squeezing your toes.
Spotting an Ingrown Toenail
Ingrown toenails are fairly easy to identify on your own. The area around the toenail will feel irritated and will likely appear red and swollen. You may notice pus as well.
What To Do About an Ingrown Toenail
Picking at an ingrown toenail, or trying an at-home remedy can lead to worse problems like infections. Instead, contact a podiatrist or call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 to schedule an appointment with Dr. James M. McKee in our comfortable and convenient office on Solomons Island Road in Annapolis, MD. With years of specialized training and experience, Dr. McKee is an expert in the diagnosis and individualized treatments of foot and ankle illness and injury. He will have you back on your feet before you know it.