Avoid Ill-Fitting Footwear
A lot of fashionable shoes have very cramped, or even pointed, toe boxes. Wearing them, unfortunately, is a bad idea. Tight shoes can push down on toenails, slowly diverting them off course and into the surrounding skin as they grow. High heels can make the problem even worse, as they can push your toes all the way to the front of the shoe.
You aren’t out of the clear if your shoes are too loose, either. These can slide around on the foot, causing your toenails to knock into the front of the shoe repeatedly—especially if you are physically active.
For daily wear, stick to comfortable shoes that offer good support, feel firm (but not tight) around the heels and balls of the feet, and leave plenty of wiggle room for toes—up, down, and side-to-side. There should be about half an inch of space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe.
Protect Your Toes From Injury
Another common cause of ingrown toenails is accidental trauma, such as stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on your foot.
While you may not be able to reduce your risk of a freak accident all the way to 0 percent, you can at least take sensible, reasonable precautions if you’re going to be participating in activities that put your feet more at risk.
For example, if you work in a construction zone or other potentially dangerous area, steel-toed boots would be a good call. Or if you’re planning to go for a run, make sure you have a good-fitting pair of running shoes; and also check your toenails beforehand to make sure they’re neatly trimmed.
A More Permanent Solution
The above strategies may work well if your ingrown toenails happened to be caused by tight shoes or improper toenail trimming. But what if the main problem is the toenail itself?
Unfortunately, some people are born naturally predisposed to getting ingrown toenails, or suffer an injury that alters a nail’s shape. In this case, you may continue to get ingrown toenails again and again, no matter what you do.
Fortunately, we have a solution for this, too. If you’d like to be rid of your ingrown toenails for good, we can actually remove or cauterize a small part (or, if absolutely necessary, a large part) of the underlying nail matrix, which is responsible for nail growth.
Once this procedure is performed, the portion of the nail associated with that part of the matrix cannot grow back. Your toenail will be thinner than it was before, but the part of the nail that was causing problems will be gone—and so will your ingrown toenails.
Although this sounds like an extreme procedure, it’s actually pretty simple and can be done quickly, under local anesthesia, right at the same time we treat the ingrown toenail itself. Even young kids tend to tolerate this procedure very well, and the long-term relief you feel afterward is invaluable.
Are You Or A Family Member Suffering From Ingrown Toenails In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?
If you're suffering from ingrown toenails you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!