Frequently Asked Questions about Ingrown Toenails
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Why does my ingrown toenail keep coming back?
Unfortunately, sometimes an ingrown toenail keeps coming back. This may be related to your footwear, how you care for your nail, or the natural shape of the hard tissue. Too-tight shoes contribute to ingrown nail formation, so if you continue to wear shoes that do not fit properly as you heal, the nail may simply curve into your toe again. You need to continue to keep your nails cleaned, trimmed, and protected, too. That way, as your nail redevelops, it grows straight instead of curling. One of the most common causes, however, is the natural shape of the nail. Sometimes people are born with nails that may grow too big for their toes, or have too much sideways curve. These nails are far more likely to grow inward repeatedly.
There are procedures to help permanently correct painful nail problems. If your ingrown nail keeps coming back, set up an appointment at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford or Hamden, CT. Submit a request through our website to reach us. You can also call either office: (203) 876-7736 for Milford, or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.
Can I treat ingrown toenails at home?
You can treat ingrown toenails at home as a way of relieving the pain and preventing the problem from worsening. Soaking your feet in warm water for 15 minutes a couple times a day may help reduce inflammation. Antibiotic cream can help prevent infections caused by the nail tissue piercing the skin. You may be able to straighten a curling nail by putting dental floss or cotton under the painful edge to lift it above the skin.
Make sure you wear shoes that don’t squish or squeeze the ends of your toes. These can create or exacerbate nail damage. Our staff may recommend anti-inflammatory pain killers to help with the discomfort as well. If these home remedies do not help, get in touch with Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT. We can help you take care of the problem before it deteriorates and causes worse pain. Submit a request online or call to reach us: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.
Can I prevent ingrown toenails?
For those who have seen or experienced toenail pain, you may be wondering, “Can I prevent ingrown toenails?” The good news is that you can in many cases. Keep your nails trimmed straight across, so the edges are intact and straight. Maintain an appropriately short length, as well—both too-long and too-short nails are susceptible to pressure from your shoes that could curve them. Make sure your shoes fit, too. Footwear that is too tight squeezes the toes and may cause nail trouble. Injuries are also a source of nail problems, so make sure your feet are properly protected for your activities with the correct footwear.
Sometimes, your natural nail shape may make you more prone to ingrown nails. If you have frequently recurring nail issues, you may need a more aggressive treatment. Let Dr. Sanjay Patel and our team here at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT, know about your painful toe problems. You can submit a request through our website or call either office to make an appointment with us: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, and (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.
How do I trim toenails correctly?
If you trim toenails correctly, it can help prevent ingrown nails and other problems. It’s easiest to do this when your nails are dry, since moisture makes them more likely to tear. Use straight-edged clippers to trim the hard keratin flat across. The corners on either side should be intact. Don’t clip the tissue too short. That could leave you more vulnerable to infection. If you use a file to smooth down the tip, drag the emery board in just one direction; this grinds down rough edges without straining the tissue. Avoid cutting your cuticles, too. You need them intact to help protect your toes from infections.
If you’re struggling to trim toenails correctly, or have a condition like diabetes that increases your risk of infection, contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT, for help. Use our online contact form or call us to make an appointment or request more information: (203) 876-7736 for the Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for the Hamden location.