Ingrown toenails are the worst! They hurt to touch, to brush up on anything, even looking at them hurts. The worst part, is some people can be prone to them and seem to get them repeatedly. Ingrown toenails are more common in children or teens, but everyone can become a victim. While many people have heard "how painful" it is to get them treated, the faster you see a doctor, the faster you're out of pain. Also, waiting to have them treated almost always makes the problem worse!

The 3 Causes of Ingrown Toenails:

1. Wide toenails- Some toenails grow too wide for their actual toe. The nail will continue to grow outward,  but with nowhere to go, it grows down into the skin.

2. Curving toenails- Toenails can actually begin to curve downwards due to an injury or nail fungus.

3. Poor Trimming- Not properly cutting toenails can cause them to grow awkwardly and into the skin.

Wide toenails is usually something that happens on it's own and there isn't much that can be done, other then to have the nail treated by your doctor. With curved toenails, however, you may be able to prevent the ingrown. Since curved toenails can be caused by toenail fungus, you should treat the fungus before it begins to affect the shape and growth of the nail. Early prevention could help to prevent the nail from becoming ingrown.

Learning how to cut your toenails in order to prevent ingrowns is important! Often people become so obsessed with preventing the ingrown, they actually cause it themselves! You should always cut the nail straight across and not try to smooth out the sides or dig into the skin.

If you have an ingrown toenail, the best way to get out of pain...and prevent it from happening again is to see a podiatrist! 


Peter Wishnie, D.P.M.
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Owner of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Make an appointment today!
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