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How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

If you’ve ever dealt with an ingrown toenail, know that you’re not alone. Experts estimate that about 18% of adults have experienced an ingrown toenail at some point during their lives. One reason why the number is so high is that ingrown toenails can develop for several reasons. While that might initially seem like bad news, you can make a few changes to limit your risk of developing an ingrown toenail in the future. 

At Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey, Joseph DiMenna, DPM, David DiMenna, DPM, and Joseph Bakanas, DPM, and our team strive to help you keep your feet healthy. We rounded up our top tips for preventing ingrown toenails. But first, let’s take a moment to understand how ingrown toenails develop in the first place. 

What causes ingrown toenails?

Since nearly one in five American adults has had an ingrown toenail at some point, it’s safe to say this is a common foot condition. Ingrown toenails form when the corner or edge of your toenail starts to grow into the soft flesh of the toe. This most commonly occurs on the big toe, but you can develop an ingrown toenail on any toe. 

Some of the leading reasons your toenail might become ingrown include:

Health conditions like diabetes that affect your circulation can heighten your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails are marked by symptoms, including:

Left untreated, the ingrown nail can result in an infection. 

In many cases, you can care for an ingrown nail at home. For a simple but effective remedy, soak your foot in warm water and Epsom salt. The nail and skin will become soft, so you can clip the affected area and apply an antibiotic ointment. 

If you have a health condition that restricts blood flow to your feet, such as diabetes, however, or you’re experiencing severe pain or redness, it’s time to see a professional about your toenail. Our team at Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey can step in to treat your ingrown nail and avoid serious complications.

How do I prevent ingrown toenails?

To avoid the discomfort that comes with ingrown toenails, you can take some preventive action. The best ways to avoid ingrown toenails include:

If you have recurring ingrown toenails, professional foot care can help. If you have naturally thick or curved toenails, our team at Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey can advise you on trimming your nails to the proper shape and length and keeping them clean.

If you have an ingrown toenail, make an appointment with our team. Call Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey to schedule your toenail care appointment today. 

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