3 Ways To Reduce The Recurrence Of Ingrown Toenails

Health & Medical Blog

Many people will experience the occasional problem with an ingrown toenail, but when the same toe is repeatedly ingrown, there are other issues that need to be addressed. There are several strategies that can eliminate ingrown nails once and for all.

Deal With Dead Skin

Many people have an accumulation of dead or even hardened skin around the nail bed. Since this skin is not pliable, as the nail grows out, it is more likely to embed itself in the skin. You should routinely remove this dead skin by soaking your feet and using a washcloth to gently rub around your toenails and exfoliate. Additionally, using a cuticle remover will soften the dead skin. After the skin turns white from the cuticle removal product, you can use a cuticle pusher to gently scrape away any softened skin. A cuticle remover is a good product because only the dead skin turns white, so it is easy to identify what is dead skin what is not. Be sure to remove any dead skin and other debris from under the free edge of the toenail.

Wear The Right Shoe Size

Shoe size can make a big difference in whether you ever have ingrown nails and whether they keep returning. Both the length and width of the shoe can cause problems. If your shoes are not long enough, your toenails will frequently push against the inside of the shoe, which can cause them to eventually bend and dig into the skin. Similarly, shoes that are not wide enough will squeeze your toes together, which often causes the side of your little and great toes the most problems. Depending on your current shoe size, you can either start wearing wide-width shoes or select styles with a wider toe box. Women might find that men's sneakers are a more comfortable fit because they are made wider than women's sneakers of comparable size.

Consider Destroying The Nail Matrix

When ingrown nails become a recurrent problem, your podiatrist can give you an idea whether the issue can be fixed or the nail should be destroyed. Some nail-related issues are caused by permanent damage, and the nail will always grow in such a way that it is prone to ingrown nails. In this case, it is best to have the ingrown portion of the nail removed, then have the nail matrix destroyed so it cannot regrow. Typically, only the sides of the nail are permanently destroyed, so the middle grows back. Over time, it will be less obvious that any nail is missing. Some people find removing the entire nail and destroying the entire nail matrix is better, especially if they are athletes or otherwise active. They would rather not worry about future nail problems, so destroying the entire nail is the best option in those instances.

Recurrent ingrown nails are a major concern because they cause significant pain and can lead to infections. If self-care does not eliminate the problem, destroying the nail matrix can provide indefinite relief.


5 December 2019