What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

If you’re living with an ingrown toenail, our team of experts at Tampa Bay Podiatry in Clearwater FL is here to help. 

Common Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails aren’t just an irritation – they can be downright painful. By discovering the cause, though, you can better treat and prevent one from occurring. Below are some of the most common causes to consider.

Improper Toenail Maintenance and Hygiene

The way in which you trim your nails can go a long way in either causing or preventing ingrown toenails. Always cut straight across – not rounded or at an angle. Also, do not cut too short, as this leads the skin to grow over the nail. And be sure that you keep your feet clean, as a lack of foot hygiene can allow bacteria to easily grow and spread.

Injuries, Ongoing Trauma, and Nail Conditions

Your feet go through a lot every day, making them targets for a variety of issues. Activities like running and sports that involve kicking put a great deal of strain on your toes, causing ongoing trauma. Nail conditions like fungal infections can also lead to ingrown toenails, as can less frequent trauma, like stubbing your toe.

Improper Footwear 

Your toes need space. Without it, it’s very easy for nail and toe issues to form – including ingrown toenails. Be sure that both your socks and your shoes leave plenty of space. Narrow toe boxes are not synonymous with healthy toenails.

Toenail Structure or Heredity 

For some people, ingrown toenails are more likely to form due to the natural condition of their toes. For example, some are simply born with toenails that curve more than others. By visiting a podiatrist and addressing the other common causes on this list, you can reduce the chances of ingrown toenails.

What Do I Do If I Have an Ingrown Toenail? 

As ingrown toenails can develop due to infection, it’s always safest to visit our experts at Tampa Bay Podiatry in Clearwater FL as soon as possible. If no infection is present and the ingrown toenail is not too severe, soaking your foot in warm water while massaging the side of the nail that’s impacted can help. 

However, it’s essential that – whether you have an infection or not – the root cause of the ingrown toenail is addressed. Otherwise, you’ll likely deal with them consistently. Our team will help determine the root cause and develop the best course of treatment for your needs. 

If you have an ingrown toenail or they are constant in your life, we can help. Schedule an appointment with our team at Tampa Bay Podiatry in Clearwater FL by calling (727) 797-5007.