08 Apr Why do I have an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail may seem a minor injury, but they certainly hurt a lot!
An inflamed nail can make it extremely painful to walk, and in some cases, your podiatrist or foot doctor may have to remove it surgically to prevent further damage to the toe.
The pain is usually the result of the side of a nail growing into the skin of your toe. It’s more common with the big toes. Such a nail can cause an infection when it begins cutting into the skin.
In most cases, a toenail starts growing into the skin because of the way the toenail has been cut. If you cut your toenail too short or trim the edges too far back, skin may grow over the nail, and as the nail grows, it begins digging into the skin.
Another cause of ingrown nails is regularly wearing tight shoes or tight socks. This adds pressure on the skin around the toenail and pushes it against the sharp edges of the toenails.
Some people may develop an ingrown nail after a toe injury. For example, if you accidentally stub your toe, drop something on it or engage in an activity in which the toes are under constant pressure, as in running, the toenail may be impacted.
Moisture in the feet can make the skin surrounding the nail to become softer and grow over the nail. This could happen if you spend a lot of time in the water or have sweaty feet.
For some people, ingrown nails occur because of the curvy shape of their nails or toes.
Fungal infections can cause nails to become thicker and wider and more likely to dig into the skin, causing ingrown nails.
An ingrown toenail can be very painful, even to the touch as the nail and the surrounding skin becomes raised, red and infected. Fluid may build up in the toe and pus may form. If that happens, try and avoid infection and see a podiatrist or foot doctor right away. Sometimes, the nail may have to be removed to clear up the pus and irritation.
To prevent ingrown toenails, keep your toes and feet as clean as possible. Wear properly fitting footwear. Very high heels can push the toes into the tip of the shoe, pressing on the skin and nail and resulting in ingrown nails. Always try and cut toenails straight, rather than curving around.