Just as painful as a toothache, ingrown toenails are one of the most common reasons for a visit to a podiatrist. This foot problem is so common, that 20 out of 100 people who visit the doctor with podiatric complaints have an ingrown toenail. As common as the issue is, there are a lot of myths out there associated with the problem.
Myth: Only people with oddly shaped toes get ingrown toenails.
People with toes or feet of any shape can actually experience an ingrown toenail; the shape of your feet or toes doesn’t really affect your chances of having the issue. However, if you have certain toenail shapes, you may be more prone to ingrown toenail problems. For example, people who have “pincer” toenails that grow in a highly curved way can be more at risk.
Myth: You can prevent ingrown toenails by cutting the corners of your toenails.
Cutting notches or curves at the corners of your toenails is probably not going to thwart ingrown toenail issues. In fact, it is always best if you cut your toenail straight across and don’t cut the nail too short in any area.
Myth: Ingrown toenails always have to be professionally removed.
Ingrown toenails can oftentimes be treated at home, but you do have to be careful about doing so. If the nail has just started to embed into the edge of the toe, you can usually use nail clippers, tweezers, or other small manicure tools to break the nail loose from the skin. Just make sure you are using sterile tools and don’t cause an injury to your toe in the process. Once the ingrown gets to a point where it cannot easily be pulled up and out of the surrounding skin without extreme discomfort, it is best to see a podiatrist for help.
Ingrown toenails can be super painful, and they can also lead to infections around your toes if you’re not careful. Therefore, it is best to seek professional attention if your problem seems severe. The treatment for ingrown toenails is simple and can help prevent issues with ingrown toenails for a long time. Reach out to us at the office of Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA for help.