Are ingrown toenails a never-ending cycle?
Ingrown toenails. Painful and unsightly. And they just keep coming back. Like a song on a loop or a Groundhog Day movie. Why do they keep coming back?
Well, you will be glad to hear that there is something you can do to stop them from reoccurring, but first, let us explore what causes ingrown toenails in the first place.
Cutting toenails incorrectly
You might think it impossible to mess up cutting toenails. I mean, how hard can it be? However, three common mistakes are made that can lead to further problems, such as an ingrown toenail.
You cut them too short - Toenails that are cut too short can snag into the skin as they grow out
You have left them too long - Long toenails can be pressed downwards or inwards and become a problem
Curved corners - With fingernails, you can get away with shaping them to curve in at the edges, with toenails, you need to cut straight across
The aim is to cut your toenail even with the end of the toe, relatively straight without curving in at the corners. You can file them gently if you wish.
Toenails should be cut whilst they are dry, and we would recommend investing in a pair of toenail clippers as these have longer arms giving better leverage for a clean cut.
Wearing the wrong footwear
Many people regularly purchase and wear footwear that is the wrong size for them. This makes you more susceptible to developing ingrowing toenails, developing heel pain and much much more.
Shoes that are too tight can prevent the forward growth of your nails, causing the nail to grow downwards into the skin. Sometimes it could be that you bought the wrong length or width, but sometimes it can be down to the style of the shoe itself, which may be squeezing the toes.
Shoes that are too big are no better, as they cause the foot to slip forward and the nails to continually slide against the front of the shoe.
You just have naturally curvy nails
This scenario is the most frustrating as it is something that occurs naturally. Even if you take good care of your nails, cut them correctly, and wear well-fitting shoes, some people have nails that curve excessively and will still grow into the flesh.
In order to sort out ingrown nails, you can visit our clinic for treatment.
What will this involve?
We can numb the toe so you will not feel any discomfort. We will carefully and gently cut out the bit of ingrowing nail and bandage you up so you are good to go.
We could also perform a quick procedure called a matrixectomy. In this procedure, instead of just removing the ingrown edge or corner of the nail itself, we also use a chemical (phenol) to remove a very small slice of the nail bed responsible for growing new nail tissue along that edge.
The recovery time for either procedure is quick. But for a matrixectomy, you may need to wait a day or so until you can resume regular activities. And the great thing about this procedure is that your chances of getting another ingrown toenail from that edge of the toe is almost impossible.
If you need to break the cycle of ingrowing toenails, please just call us. We are here to help.