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Ingrown Toenails: Causes and Prevention

We are all prone to ingrown toenails.  However, athletes typically run into the issue of ingrown toenails possibly more frequently. Ingrown toenails are most often found in the big toe and happens when the toenail causes pressure on the skin around the nail and eventually breaks the skin if left untreated. This can lead to conditions like cellulitis and much discomfort, ouch!

Treatment Options at Home for Ingrown Toenails:

It is not always necessary to seek medical help for a condition like this (However, each patient differs). Instead, begin with soaking the afflicted foot for 10 to 15 minutes in vinegar and water (one part to four parts respectively) or Epsom Salts (2 tablespoons for each quart of water used to soak feet). Also, cutting the toenail straight across without digging into the corners or leaving the nail too short can help the condition. Finally, attempt to free the nail by rolling back the skin enough to slip cotton or dental floss under the nail and lift it from the area it has been digging into.

Causes of an Ingrown Toenail:

There are a few common issues that are considered to cause an ingrown toenail. Those situations include wearing shoes that do not fit properly, certain hereditary conditions, and not keeping toenails trimmed properly. Other potential causes can be obesity, diabetes, or suffering from nail fungus. Arthritis, edema, and repetitive pressure can also be reasons that an ingrown toenail can occur. Therefore, paying close attention to your feet and using proper foot hygiene are a good idea to avoid this issue!

Prevention of Ingrown Toenails:

For ingrown toenail prevention, it is also best to only wear sneakers that fit comfortably, not too large and not too small – try to find the perfect fit. Avoid repeated pressure to the toenails, make sure to cut them properly but not too short, and trim toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners of toenails. All of this can help to ensure you don’t have to deal with another ingrown toenail in the near future.

Ingrown toenails can be painful, but they are not an issue worth serious concern. Professionals, like your Podiatrist, can be contacted if the issue cannot be resolved within a week using home remedies. When you contact your Podiatrist regarding an ingrown toenail, the issue can be easily resolved in a very short matter of time!

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

Do you have questions or concerns?

Call or email today for immediate 
answers to your questions.


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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