Have you ever had an ingrown toenail? It can be very painful. It is a common disorder and it is important to know how to prevent it. An ingrown toenail is caused when a toenail, usually the one on the big toe, begins growing into the fleshy part of the toe. If it is serious enough you will need to schedule an appointment with a podiatrists to have a looked at it and remove it, if necessary. If it is not treated, it will eventually become infected and could lead to gangrene or a bone infection.

Preventing an Ingrown Toenail

The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to cut your nails straight across, not curved, and not too short. You should also wear shoes that fit you properly and do not have toe boxes that are too narrow. If you are performing a job that poses risks to your feet, wear protective footwear to make sure nothing falls on your nails and damages them. Remember that if you are diabetic, you are especially at risk of getting an ingrown toenail, so you should take extra caution.

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

It is relatively easy to treat mild ingrown toenails yourself. However, if the area is very sore, starting to swell, and oozing pus then you should get to your local ingrown toenail doctor, or podiatrist, as soon as possible to get it fixed. The podiatrist may be able to slightly lift the corner of the nail and stop it from growing further into the flesh. If it is more serious, however, your podiatrist would have to perform a surgical procedure to remove part of the nail and prevent it from happening again. On your first visit, your toenail will be examined and the podiatrist will decide what needs to be done to treat it. During your appointment, you should ask the doctor several questions to know if your condition will go away on its own, whether it’s temporary or chronic, the pros and cons of each of your treatment options, and how you should care for your nail after the treatment is over. The best thing to do is to make a list of questions you feel are important, and bring it with you to ask the podiatrist.