An ingrown toenail is a common condition, and generally, it is a concern that can be resolved relatively easily. However, it is worth noting that this scenario is not the same across the board. There are several things a person can do to delay their recovery or make toenail concern worse. It is important to know what practices to follow and avoid.
Size Up Your Shoes
If you have a habit of wearing shoes that are too small or snug, you want to stop this practice right away. Shoes that are too small force your toes to squeeze into a small space. If this is an everyday habit, this continual squeezing will eventually force your toenail further into the skin. You should also understand that wearing shoes that are too small can you send you to a podiatrist's office due to a host of other uncomfortable situations.
Stop Poor Clipping Habits
While you aim to keep your toenails from growing too long, make sure you are not making your ingrown toenail worse by cutting the nail too short. Ideally, the toenail should extend to the tip of the toe. With shorter nails, it is much easier for the nail to press down into the skin and form an ingrown toenail. So, each time you cut the nail of the affected toe too short, you give the nail the opportunity to grow deeper into the skin.
Protect Your Feet
If you work in an environment where there are objects that frequently fall on your feet, you need to ensure you have the right protection for your feet. With an ingrown toenail, you want to avoid any pressure that will force the nail further into the skin. When a heavy object falls on your foot, it can cause a problem because the object can cause just enough pressure to force the nail down further.
Look Out for Red Flags
Be on the watch for anything that looks different with your toe. In some situations, the ingrown nail can become infected, and the infection can even spread to the bone, which will cause all sorts of problems. Should you experience significant pain, swelling, discoloration, or any other concerning symptom visit a healthcare professional. Additionally, if you have a medical condition that causes blood flow issues, you should have your foot examined as well.
Again, ingrown toenails generally resolve successfully. However, there are instances when medical intervention is necessary. Be sure to seek a physician's help when necessary.