By Michael K. Block, DPM
September 21, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Ingrown ToenailIngrown toenails (a condition that's also called onychogryphosis) are painful and sometimes difficult to dislodge from your skin. In some cases, they are simply an annoyance, but they can cause wounds and infections in more serious cases. Luckily, they are preventable with regular toenail care and maintenance. Find out how you can prevent ingrown toenails and get help from Dr. Michael Block or Dr. Monica Cooney in Abingdon, MD.

How Ingrown Toenails Happen
Normally, a toenail grows straight over the skin's surface and can be easily clipped without discomfort. But in some cases, as the nail grows it cuts into the skin, causing irritation, soreness, redness, and inflammation. This is common in patients who have very fleshy toes, or who wear tight, pointy shoes that put too much pressure on the toes. Cutting the toenails too short, particularly around the edges, can cause the nails to grow inward. Some patients may be prone to ingrown toenails by heredity.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails
The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to pay very close attention to your feet. The chance of an ingrown nail is higher when you clip your toenails too low—instead, cut each one just slightly above the place where the toenail meets the skin in a square formation. Keep the feet clean and dry. Soaking the feet in warm water and Epsom salt may help to ease pressure on the toes and loosen the nail. Throw away any shoes that could be causing the toenails to press into the skin, namely high heels and dress shoes with pointed toes.

How a Podiatrist Can Help
As much as you may try to prevent ingrown toenails, they can be difficult to control. An Abingdon, MD podiatrist can help you with simple treatments including:

- Professional toenail clipping (preventative).
- Careful removal of the toenail from the skin by your foot doctor.
- Partial nail plate avulsion (a surgical procedure for more advanced cases).
- Treating an infection caused by the toenail piercing the skin with antibiotics.

Help for Your Toes and Feet
Take better care of your toes to prevent ingrown toenails and reduce the possibility of painful infections. Schedule time with Dr. Michael Block or Dr. Monica Cooney at their podiatrist office in Abingdon, MD by calling (410) 569-0445.

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Michael K. Block, DPM

410-569-0445
3401 Boxhill Corporate Drive Suite 201 Abingdon, MD 21009