Ingrown toenails can be painful and bothersome, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss ingrown toenails and then dive into seven effective ways to prevent them. We’ll also briefly touch on treatment options for ingrown toenails and where you can seek treatment in Singapore.
An ingrown toenail happens when the growth of a toenail, usually the big toe, breaks into the surrounding skin. The edge of the nail that extends into the skin can lead to pain, swelling, redness, and even infection if left untreated.
Various factors, including improper nail care, footwear choices, and foot hygiene, can cause ingrown toenails. Although it is a common nail bed disorder, there are steps you can take to prevent it.
Proper nail trimming is one of the most crucial steps in preventing ingrown toenails. Here’s how to do it correctly.
When trimming your toenails, always cut them straight across rather than in a curved or rounded shape. A straight edge helps prevent the edges of the nail from growing into the skin.
Avoid cutting your toenails too short. Leave a small amount of the white tip showing. Cutting them too short increases the risk of the nail digging into the skin.
Using the right tools for toenail maintenance is essential for preventing ingrown toenails.
Invest in toenail clippers designed for the job. These clippers have a straight edge, making cutting the nails easier without causing irregularities.
Regular scissors or clippers can result in uneven cuts, increasing the risk of ingrown toenails.
Keeping your feet clean and healthy is crucial in preventing ingrown toenails. Here’s what you can do.
Wash your feet daily with soap and water, paying attention to the spaces between your toes. Dry them thoroughly afterwards.
Ensure your toenails are clean and free of dirt and debris.
Your choice of footwear can significantly affect the health of your toenails. Follow these guidelines.
Choose shoes that provide adequate space for your toes. Tight-fitting shoes can force toenails to grow into the skin.
Limit your time in high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes, especially if they squeeze your toes.
Socks play a significant role in maintaining foot health and preventing ingrown toenails.
Socks made of natural fibres like cotton are a healthier choice, as they allow your feet to breathe and reduce moisture accumulation.
Moisture can soften the skin around the nails, making it easier for the nail to breach the skin. To prevent excessive moisture, dry your feet. Ensure you thoroughly dry your feet, especially between the toes, after bathing or swimming.
Your foot posture can also contribute to your risk of developing ingrown toenails. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Maintain proper foot posture when walking and standing. Avoid putting excessive pressure on the toes, which can contribute to ingrown toenails.
Now that you know how to prevent ingrown toenails, let’s briefly touch on treatment options if you or someone you know already has one.
If you or someone you know is dealing with an ingrown toenail, it’s essential to address it promptly to avoid complications. Mild cases may be treated at home by applying an antibiotic cream to prevent the development of an infection, and taking paracetamol to reduce pain.
However, if the condition worsens, becomes infected, or if you have recurrent ingrown toenails, it’s advisable to seek professional help. A healthcare provider can provide the following treatment options.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe an oral antibiotic if there is an infection present.
In some cases, a part of the toenail may need to be removed to prevent further ingrowth.
For severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a portion of the ingrown toenail with the affected tissue bed to prevent recurrence.
Preventing ingrown toenails requires proper nail care, hygiene, and footwear choices. You can greatly lower the risk of developing ingrown toenails by following the tips above.
If you ever encounter an ingrown toenail, seeking prompt medical attention is the best action to ensure a speedy recovery.
Singapore has excellent healthcare facilities, including those specialising in foot and nail care. One such place is Spire Orthopaedic Centre, where you can find expert podiatrists and clinicians experienced in diagnosing and treating ingrown toenails.
Don’t hesitate to contact us.