How Ingrown Toenails Affect Overall Foot Health

Ingrown toenails happen to pretty much everyone and can be caused by a variety of things. Caring for ingrown toenails as soon as you find one is important to keep your feet in healthy shape. We touch on some of the effects that ingrown toenails can have on your overall foot health. If you are unsure how to properly care for your toenails and treat ingrown toenails and would like to speak to someone about it, please contact Best Foot Doctor in New York City (NYC). Our podiatrist staff can help you trim your toenails and teach you how to prevent and treat ingrown toenails. 

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Some of the most common risk factors for developing ingrown toenails are the following seven things.

  1. Cutting toenails with rounded edges instead of straight across
  2. Genetically irregularly shaped or curved toenails
  3. Footwear or socks that are too tight or narrow, placing unnecessary and added pressure on your toenails
  4. An injury to the toenail, like stubbing your toe, dropping something on it, or kicking something repeatedly 
  5. Poor posture, often caused by ill-fitting shoes.
  6. Poor foot hygiene, like not keeping your feet clean or dry
  7. Genetics that predispose you to ingrown toenails

None of these conditions guarantees that you will develop ingrown toenails, but they do make it more likely. 

Effects of Ingrown Toenails on Foot Health

Ingrown toenails don’t just affect the toes. They can disrupt the normal health of your feet for anyone but are especially dangerous for people who have diabetes. If you have diabetes, ingrown toenails can be especially problematic. 

Ingrown toenails can increase your risk of infection. Any cut can be a breeding ground for infections, but ingrown toenails, because of their tendency to cut deeply and take an extended time for healing, can be especially dangerous. It is a wise practice to check your feet often for cuts, nicks, scratches, or ingrown toenails if you have diabetes, to prevent any issues from growing worse.

How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails from Affecting Your Foot Health

In addition to checking your feet regularly for cuts and injuries, here are three things you can do to prevent ingrown toenails.

  1. Trim your toenails straight across. Never round them like is traditionally done with fingernails. If you are unable to cut your nails on a regular basis, you can visit your podiatrist to have them cut for you. 
  2. Try not to trim your nails too short or too long. When too short, nails can grow under the skin. Nails that are often too long can be caught on things or broken, causing trauma and damage to the nail bed.
  3. Make sure your shoes are appropriate for the activity and fit correctly. If you have a condition like neuropathy that keeps you from sensing if shoes are too tight, get measured for shoes by a reputable shoe store or a podiatrist.

Find an Ingrown Toenail Podiatrist in New York City (NYC)

If you are looking for a podiatrist and live in the NYC area, Best Foot Doctor has offices in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. You may call our offices today to schedule an appointment. Our helpful staff will be happy to listen to your concerns and offer treatment and advice as needed.

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