Ingrown nails are often a painful and unfortunately, a common condition. They occur when the edge or corner of a toenail grows into the skin, causing redness, swelling, and even infection. There are steps you can take to prevent ingrown nails and treat them if they do occur.
Trim your nails correctly
To prevent ingrown nails, make sure you trim your nails straight across and avoid rounding the edges. Also, be sure to use sharp nail clippers to avoid tearing or damaging the nail.
Wear comfortable shoes
Shoes that are too tight or don’t fit properly can put pressure on your toes and lead to ingrown nails. Make sure your shoes fit well and have enough room for your toes to move around.
Soak your feet
Soak your feet in warm water for 15-20 minutes a few times a week to soften the nails and make them easier to trim. You can also add Epsom salts or essential oils to the water to soothe your feet.
Use the right tools
If you do get an ingrown nail, it’s important to use the right tools to treat it. A pair of fine-tipped tweezers can help lift the nail away from the skin, while a nail file can help smooth the nail’s edges.
Don’t ignore an ingrown nail
If left untreated, an ingrown nail can become infected, which can cause pain and further complications. If you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus, see a doctor or podiatrist immediately.
Consider professional treatment
How to Prevent Ingrown Nails
While ingrown nails can be treated, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some helpful tips to prevent it:
Cut your nails properly
When you cut your nails too short or round them off at the edges, it can cause the nail to grow into the skin. To prevent this, make sure to cut your nails straight across and avoid cutting them too short. Use a nail clipper, and avoid using scissors or other sharp objects.
Wear proper footwear
Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow can put pressure on your toes, causing the nail to grow into the skin. Make sure to wear shoes that fit properly and have enough room for your toes to move freely. Avoid wearing high heels for extended periods.
Avoid trauma to your toes
Stubbing your toe, dropping something heavy on your foot, or wearing tight shoes can cause trauma to your toes.
Keep your feet clean and dry
Moisture can soften the skin around the nail, making it easier for the nail to grow into the skin. Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or swimming and change your socks frequently, especially if your feet tend to sweat.
Use proper nail care products
Apply cuticle oil to keep the skin around your nails moisturized and healthy. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals on your nails and use a nail file instead of a metal nail file, which can damage your nails.
If you’re not yet ready for ingrown nails surgery, check out this guide: