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Causes of Ingrown Nails

Ingrown nails are one of the most common problems that a podiatrist sees. Not only is an ingrown toenail painful to deal with but it is not uncommon for ingrown nails to become a recurring problem. When it comes to ingrown toenails, prevention is the best medicine. Let’s talk about some common causes of ingrown nails and what you can do about them.

  • Tight Shoes – When toes are forced into a shoe that is too tight toes can get crowded leading to ingrown toenails. To ensure that you are wearing the right size get measure with a Brannock device. Every shoes store has them and they give very accurate measurements, but keep in mind that different brands of shoes can be different sizes, even if the numbers are the same. If you find yourself in the difficult spot of being between sizes then go with the looser fitting shoe, but make sure to lace up well. Your big toe should be about one thumb width from the front tip of the shoe.

  • Nail Trimming – When trimming toenails you should take extra care not to trim the toenail inward at the edges, this aesthetically pleasing habit is actually a common cause of ingrown nails. This can cause the nail to grow in the wrong direction. Toenails should be trimmed straight across to prevent ingrown nails from forming.

  • Injury – While not as easy to prevent as the previous two causes you can certainly decrease your chance of injury to the toes by wearing proper shoes for you activities. You wouldn’t wear high heels to play soccer, so don’t wear sneakers if your going for a hike.

If you do have an ingrown toenail then gpo see your local podiatrist. You will be surprised how easily they can make your toe pain free in just one visit!

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