Ingrown toenails are a common problem in Midtown East, New York, especially among athletes and people who wear tight shoes. But did you know that there are certain things you can do to help prevent them from forming in the first place? This is why first visiting a center treating ingrown toenails in Midtown East, NY, is essential. Here are four facts about ingrown toenails that might surprise you.
They Can be Pretty Standard
Ingrown toenails are one of the more common foot problems, with up to 10% of the population at risk for them. They are most often found among tight or athletic shoes that compress the toes against each other. A family history of ingrown nails is also a significant risk factor. So if you have a mother or father, grandparent, uncle, or aunt with ingrown nails, chances are higher that you will develop them too.
They Can be Painful
While ingrown toenails typically aren’t severe and often don’t require medical attention unless they become infected, they can still be pretty uncomfortable. Most people will experience a dull, throbbing pain in the affected toenail. In some cases, the skin surrounding the ingrown nail may also become inflamed and swollen, bright red or even purplish-red.
Most of the time, these symptoms will go away over time once the nail grows out past the skin and pressure is relieved. But until they do, it can make walking, running, or even wearing shoes uncomfortable for many people.
Soaking the Feet in Warm Water Helps
One of the things you can do to help keep ingrown nails from forming is soaking your feet in warm water several times per day. Warm water will let the skin on the affected foot expand, making it easier for the ingrown nail to grow out flat and not trap skin underneath.
Applying Antibiotic Ointments Reduces the Symptoms
Ingrown nails can get infected if bacteria get trapped under them or underneath the skin surrounding the nail. This will cause increased pain, redness, and swelling in and around the affected toenail. Topical antibiotic ointments can be used to keep this from happening by killing off any bacteria that might try to set up camp underneath the nail.
Your Shoes Don’t Fit Properly
Proper footwear can prevent ingrown nails from forming or keep them from getting worse if they develop. Wearing high heels, narrow shoes, and shoes too tight around the toes can force toenails into a downward position where they might catch the skin and cause an ingrown nail.
Choice of Shoe Matters
To prevent ingrown nails from occurring or getting worse, you can do a couple of things. Keeping your feet as dry as possible is essential, as well as keeping them clean and applying antibacterial ointments throughout the day. In addition, wearing appropriate shoes for your activity level and preventing tight shoes around the toes is vital. And, if an ingrown nail does form, you should take steps to remove the skin trapped under it.
Ingrown toenails can be a standard, painful problem. But by following some simple prevention tips, you can help keep them from forming in the first place. Soaking your feet in warm water, applying antibiotic ointments, and wearing the proper shoes are all great ways to reduce your risk of developing ingrown nails. Before all these, consult with an ingrown toenail specialist.