It’s amazing how the tiny edge of a nail can cause such extreme pain as in the case of an ingrown toenail. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we find that patients are often reluctant to come one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices to get relief from an ingrown nail because they are afraid of how much it will hurt. In nearly every instance, patients in far less pain than when they arrived after one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. the nail.
Below are some tips to help prevent and relieve ingrown toenails.
Do: trim nails properly. This is the number one cause of ingrown toenails. Cut the nails short but not so short that the skin can overlap the nail, encouraging an ingrown nail to form.
Don’t: file toenails with rounded edges. Always file straight across.
Don’t: wear shoes and socks that too tight. When toes are pressed up against each other for long periods of time, ingrown nails are more likely to develop. High heels that force the foot forward also cramp toes together and can increase the risk for this condition.
the affected toe in warm water several times a day and try to gently massage the nail out of the skin.
Don’t: attempt “bathroom surgery” and try to dig the nail out with a sharp instrument. This most often leads to injury and infection. “Folk remedies” such as sticking a piece of cotton under the nail or cutting a notch out of the side of the nail are also bad ideas.
treatment promptly if soaking does not remove the ingrown nail. Delaying in going to the podiatrist will allow the nail to actually puncture the skin and possibly cause an infection.
Do: contact us if the nail is red, warm to the touch, oozing pus and/or if you have a fever, as these are signs that an infection is present and medical attention is needed immediately.