Why Do I Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails?

Why Do I Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenail — the name may not sound like a big deal, but this seemingly minor condition can make your life pretty miserable. Wearing shoes becomes nearly impossible and the pain is a lot more than a minor nuisance.

Also called onychocryptosis, ingrown toenails occur in up to 5% of the general population at any given time. Even more telling, ingrown toenails account for 20% of foot-related visits to health care providers such as ourselves.

Our team of foot health and podiatry experts here at LaSante Health Center understands how uncomfortable ingrown toenails can be, and we’re here to help. 

The first step, especially if you get ingrown toenails regularly, is to figure out what’s behind the problem. From there, we can come up with a plan to prevent another round of throbbing pain at the hands of an ingrown toenail.

The road to ingrown toenails

As the name suggests, when you have an ingrown toenail, the outer edges of your toenail dig into the flesh on either side, which can lead to painful inflammation and even infection.

This condition mostly occurs in your big toe, and since the toe is inflamed, wearing shoes can be painful, and even the slightest bit of pressure, such as from your socks, can be unbearable. So, while the issue may be minor and far from life-threatening, it can have a surprisingly large and unpleasant impact on your life.

If it seems like you’re constantly struggling with ingrown toenails, there are several potential culprits behind the issue, such as:

Overly curved toenails

If your toenails are more curved than flat, they have a greater tendency to grow down into the flesh around the nail rather than over it.

Tight shoes

If you wear shoes with pointed toes, you’re more at risk for ingrown toenails, since your toes are compressed inside the shoe.

Trimming your toenails too short or rounded

Another common problem we see is that people cut their toenails too short, which allows more opportunity for the nails to grow into the flesh. And people often round the edges of their toenails when they trim them, which can set you up for ingrown toenails.

Outside of these issues, other roads to ingrown toenails include trauma to your toe, toenail fungus, and circulatory issues in your feet, such as diabetes.

Treating (and preventing) ingrown toenails

If you keep developing ingrown toenails, the good news is that treating the existing problem is fairly easy. When you come to see us, we apply a local anesthetic and expertly remove the piece of nail that’s growing into your flesh. If there’s an infection, we provide you with antibiotics.

Once we relieve your discomfort, we focus on ways to avoid painful ingrown toenails down the road. For example if we see that your trimming technique might be to blame, we review some nail-cutting best practices. 

Even if the problem is beyond your control, such as overly curved nails, there are some good strategies, such as trimming your toenails after you soak them so you can work them up and over your skin more easily.

Whatever is driving your ingrown toenails, rest assured that we can get to the bottom of the problem to help you find ways to avoid them in the future.

For expert care of ingrown toenails, please book an appointment online or call us at our Brooklyn, New York, office at 718-246-5700 to set up a visit. 

We serve the Flatbush and East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Little Haiti, Little Caribbean, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens communities.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Steps to Take If Your Blood Pressure Is Too High

4 Steps to Take If Your Blood Pressure Is Too High

Nearly half of Americans have a blood pressure problem that places them at far greater risk for heart disease. If you’re in this group, you can improve the course of your health with these four proven strategies.
Why Do I Have Pain in My Heels?

Why Do I Have Pain in My Heels?

New York is a walking city, so when heel pain strikes, your world becomes much smaller and far more uncomfortable. To put that spring back in your step, read on to learn about heel pain culprits and solutions.
5 Steps to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

5 Steps to Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease

Your ability to see is important, to say the least, so you want to do what you can to preserve your eyesight. Unfortunately, diabetic eye diseases put your vision in great jeopardy unless you take action.