How To Avoid Ingrown Toenails
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 49,264 times.
Experts agree that ingrown toenails can be painful and may lead to an infection, so you likely want to prevent them.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source Ingrown toenails are a very common condition where the corner or side of your toenail grows into the flesh of your toe. Ingrown toenails are more common in your big toe, but they can happen to any toe. Research suggests that you might be able to prevent ingrown toenails by caring for your toenails and wearing sturdy, comfortable shoes.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
Pack The Area With Dental Floss Or Cotton
According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, placing cotton under your nail may increase pain and allow harmful bacteria to thrive. Soaking the cotton or floss in alcohol before application may help reduce this risk.
What All Runners Should Know Before Getting A Pedicure
If youre an avid runner, you know it can do a number on your feet, especially if youre training for a race and logging a ton of miles. You might want to treat yourself to a pedicure to reward your poor toes for their hard work. The thing is, depending on how much running youre doing, the rough, calloused skin thats developed may actually be your friend.
That doesnt mean pedicures are off-limits for runnersin fact, done the right way, a pedicure every now and then can keep your feet and nails clean and healthy.
Heres what experts have to say about getting a pedicure when youre a runner, including what you should ask for and what you should avoid, to keep your feet in tip-top shape.
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How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails
One of the more common foot complaints podiatrists see is ingrown toenails. They can be painful and definitely can knock the pep out of your step, limiting your ability to accomplish what you need to do. But why do they occur and how can you stop getting nailed with them?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the sides of a nail grow into the surrounding skin, said Joseph Dobrusin, DPM a podiatrist at Banner Health in Arizona, The skin doesnt know that the nail belongs to youall it knows is this is an offending object. This causes an inflammatory response leading to redness, swelling and pain.
How Are Recurring Ingrown Toenails Treated
If you have recurrent ingrown toenails and home remedies arent cutting it, your doctor may recommend removing the nail and tissue with a procedure called a chemical matricectomy with phenolization.
In healthy patients, those with no comorbidities, its one of the best and most commonly performed procedures we havestill after 50 years, Dr. Dobrusin said. You go into the section of the nail that is causing the problem and take it out and apply 90 percent phenol that causes a chemical burn and prevents the nail from regrowing.
While it cant 100 percent guarantee you wont have any toe problems in the future, it is likely your toe will be much improved.
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The Bottom Line Is That As Long As You Set Some Ground Rules Theres No Reason You Cant Enjoy Pedicures As You Train
Dr. Canuso also suggests making your last pedicure at least two weeks out from race day. That way, in case you do end up with any ingrown nails, sensitive spots, or other unexpected foot issues, youll have enough time to get it sorted out beforehand, she says. Were all for treating yourself, but a spa day shouldnt get in the way of you and your PR.
When To Visit A Podiatrist
You should see a podiatrist immediately if any drainage or excessive redness is present around the toenail. Also, if a short trial of home treatment has not resulted in improvement of the condition, see your podiatrist. If you have diabetes or poor circulation, you should seek immediate treatment at the first signs of an ingrown toenail, as it can lead to more severe complications.
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How To Get Rid Of An Ingrown Toenail
By Kyra Oliver
If youve ever had an ingrown toenail, you know the pain that it can cause. Not only that, but its annoying we use our toes in some way or another as part of our usual daily movement, and this use and constant knocking seems to aggravate the nail even more. It makes the pain more noticeable and seems to last forever!
An ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, may occur at any age and is one of the mostly common toenail problems. It can be a painful condition that can easily become infected without proper care. While more studies need to be conducted, there are a few that suggest a slightly higher male-to-female ratio, particularly in the 1425 age group however, it can affect patients of any age.
There are multiple reasons why an ingrown toenail develops, including:
- improper nail-cutting technique
- pressure from abutting digits caused by hallux valgus or lesser toe deformities
- the presence of a subungual exostosis
- occasionally, the use of isotretinoin in the treatment of severe acne
Something thats often forgotten is that toenail fungus can become part of the problem too. Usually, nail fungus occurs when fungus enters the nail through a small trauma, such as a cut or break in the nail. Though often a misconception, nail fungus is not caused by poor hygiene. However, if you have an ingrown toenail, you need to be conscious of keeping the area clean.
Nailed It 3 Ways To Prevent Ingrown Toenails
In medicine, the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are three ways to help prevent ingrown toenails altogether:
Use proper nail cutting techniques
Clip your toenails using toenail clippers , trimming them straight across and not too short.
Avoid ill-fitted shoes AND socks
Wear shoes that have a good size toe box that allow your toes to rest flat. And slip on moisture-wicking socks that allow your toes to move around freely.
Check your feet
Dont forget to check in with your feet on a regular basis for ingrown toenails or other foot problems, especially if you are prone to ingrown toenails or have diabetes.
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When To See A Podiatrist
Ingrown toenails often respond well to at-home care, such as soaking your foot in warm water and applying over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Schedule a visit with a podiatrist if youre in a great deal of pain, as this can signal an infection. Signs include swelling, pain, and the skin around the nail appearing red and feeling hot to the touch.
Anytime self-care measures fail to resolve your ingrown toenail, its time to see a podiatrist. You should also see a podiatrist if you experience recurring ingrown toenails.
A Few Minutes And Youre Back On Your Feet
Treatment for a common ingrown toenail is simple and straightforward. Dr. Scheffel numbs your toe and removes the portion of the nail thats causing the problem.
To get relief from your ingrown toenail and avoid the possibility of infection, call Scheffel Foot Center today or use the online form to request an appointment.
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What Can A Doctor Do For An Ingrown Toenail
Your doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or podiatrist can treat an ingrown nail with a minor procedure, or in certain cases with surgery.
This typically involves numbing the toe or foot with an injection. The skin on top of the ingrown nail may be removed with a scalpel.
The ingrown nail section is then partly or completely removed. You will not feel any pain during the procedure expect for the injection.
If you have ingrown nails often, your surgery may include use of a laser or chemical procedure to remove a part of the nail bed permanently so that it no longer grows as wide.
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When Youre Not Actively Training Its Okay To Use A Sanding Toollike A Pumice Stoneto Lightly Diminish Calluses
Avoid the microplane at all costs, says Jennifer Purnell, licensed nail technician and owner of in Germantown, Tennessee. Using microplanes in nail salons is actually illegal in some states, and most professional nail technicians wont allow it regardless of the law, she says.
Why? There are serious sanitation concerns: The microplane can cause small cuts in the skin, which give bacteria and fungus a chance to cause an infection, says Dr. Batra. Plus, removing calluses this way can make the skin raw and irritated.
Its okay, though, to sand down calluses with a smoothing tool such as a pumice stone, says Purnell. She suggests using it in the shower one to two times per week, or just with your routine pedicure. This can help buff away some of the dead skin and smooth the surface safely. But again, its probably best to save this for when your running volume is low.
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What Is The Proper Way To Treat An Ingrown Toenail During A Pedicure
What is the proper way to treat an ingrown toenail during a pedicure?
If the area around the ingrown nail is not infected it can be gently treated by the pedicurist. The hardened skin at the area needs to be trimmed and the nail needs to be gently trimmed to straighten out the curl that has started in the nail. You can only safely trim what you can see. If the nail appears too deeply embedded, the client might need to see the podiatrist first to get the deeper portion out.
When the ingrown nail is from the big toe being pressed by the second toe , I opt for gentle, straight trimming back, leaving no nail to grow in. The hard skin is usually what hurts more, not the nail. If the client is a regular, she might want to try a nail softening agent every day. There are some that are over the counter with lactic acid, uric acid, or salacylic acid that work very well. Johanna Youner is a New York City-based podiatrist and director of the podiatry clinic at New York University Downtown Hospital.
Can I Get A Pedicure If I Have Toenail Fungus
Truthfully, people do it all the timemost of the time because they don’t even know they have the fungus. The experts we spoke to can identify it pretty easily though and might draw your attention to it. “If someone were to have a foot fungus, we’ll ask them, ‘Have you noticed your toenails looking different?'” Barb said. “We can’t diagnose them, but we can refer them to a podiatrist.”
A pedicure probably won’t hurt you if you already have a toenail fungus. But if you’re aware of the issue, you might want to alert the staff ahead of time. That way, they can be sure to fully sterilize the equipment after you use it. In some cases, they may even ask you to bring your own disposable tools for the job.
Don’t be worried about a tiny bit of discoloration, though. “As far as yellow toenails, that’s usually from polish,” says Barb. “We’ll tell them how to take care of it.”
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Does Epsom Salt Help Ingrown Toenail
Mix 1-2 tablespoons of unscented Epsom salts into one quart of warm water and soak your foot for 15 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day for the first few days. Always dry your foot completely after soaking. Soaking your ingrown or infected toe will help relieve the pain and pressure of an infection.
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Medical Treatment Of Ingrown Toenails
Once your ingrown toenail has progressed past the first stage, you may need to seek medical help. There are various surgical treatments of ingrown toenails your podiatrist may recommend. All of these are standard, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons .
Wedge Resection: This involves the partial removal of the nail or a portion of it, after numbing your toe with a local anesthetic and draining any ingrown toenail infection. Your doctor can perform this procedure in the office and the recovery time is anywhere between two weeks to two months, depending on the size of the nail portion removed.
Matrixectomy: The matrixectomy procedure is also referred to as permanent or full nail avulsion. Unlike typical avulsions, which arent often practiced anymore , a matrixectomy happens when the physician removes the entire nail from your nail bed and then covers the nail matrix with a chemical that stops it from ever growing back.
Vandenbos Procedure: The Vandenbos procedure has been around since the late 1950s and involves removal of the skin directly underneath and on either side of the ingrown toenail. Recovery is longer with this procedure, but this is also the only procedure in which a doctor does not need to prescribe antibiotics for prevention of infections. It also seems to be the procedure most likely to prevent recurrences of ingrown nails.
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Risks Complications And Things You Should Know About Ingrown Toenails
Its also important to note that if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, youre at greater risk of complications of ingrown toenails. Thats just another reason to treat your diabetes.
Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection. Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes, which can cause poor blood flow and damage nerves in your feet. So a minor foot injury a cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail may not heal properly and become infected.
A difficult-to-heal open sore may require surgery to prevent the decay and death of tissue . Gangrene results from an interruption in blood flow to an area of your body.
What Is The Best Treatment For Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can cause minor discomfort or terrible pain, depending on how much they have grown. For many lucky people, an ingrown nail will resolve by itself, without any treatment.
Others people get aggressive ingrown nails that force them to walk with a limp. That type of ingrown toenail can immobilize a person. More so if it is left to grow to a point that it causes complications.
Nobody wants that, which is why prompt treatment will help you get rid of the pain, discomfort or complications caused by that pesky toenail.
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Does A Pedicure Help Ingrown Toenails
You can still get a pedicure with an ingrown toenail but there are limited things your nail tech can do for you. Accordingly to Kimberly, the lead nail tech, stated, The State Board limits and prohibits us in treating these types of conditions.
If you are looking for relieve of an ingrown toenail, do not be persistent with your nail tech because their hands are tied when it comes to this. Instead, go to a podiatrist so they can effectively fix your ingrown nail.
Preventative Measures Are The Best Treatment
The best cure for ingrown toenails is not to get one in the first place. By keeping your feet and toes healthy, you can reduce the chance of a problem toenail.
If your toenail gives you trouble, contact us and make an appointment. We will have your toe back in shape in no time.
Request an appointment here: or call Foot & Ankle Specialty Clinic at 799-8089 for an appointment in our Logan office.Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
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When Should You Get An Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Pain and swelling around your toe and the inability to wear certain shoes might be signs of an ingrown toenail. It’s a common condition that you can sometimes take care of at home. But if the pain becomes unbearable, or you can see an infection in the tissue around your toenail, you may need to seek medical treatment.
Faq Can I Get An Ingrown Toenail From Pedicures
Yes! Ingrown toenails can be caused by improper trimming of the nail. If pedicurist instruments are not sanitized properly they can also lead to an ingrown toenail getting infected.
When the edge of the skin gets broken during a pedicure that can start a problem at the corner of the nail. Ingrown toenails often become painful at the corner of the nail, red and swollen. You may also notice drainage if the ingrown nail is infected. If you have an ingrown toenail or an infected ingrown toenail, contact Advanced Podiatry immediately for treatment and pain relief!
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