Your Guide to Ingrown Toenails

As we near the end of the season, hopefully you’ve been able to get out and about this summer despite that Houston heat! If you’re like some folks, you sometimes get active too much too fast, and your feet may pay the price. Among the many conditions that can affect our feet, ingrown toenails are one of the most common–and the most unbearable! Ingrown toenails are painful and inconvenient, sometimes rendering a person immobile if the pain is too severe. Hopefully if an ingrown toenail has reached that point, the sufferer has already sought the help of their trusted podiatrist.

Dr. Scott McKinney strongly advises that if you suspect you are at risk of developing an ingrown toenail or one is currently plaguing you, don’t hesitate to schedule your next appointment. Here are some helpful tips to figure out if the symptoms you’re experiencing are an ingrown toenail, what you can do to treat it, and how to prevent ingrown toenails from developing in the future:

What to watch out for:

  • Feeling pressure near where the corner of the toenail and skin meet.
  • Inflammation and redness.
  • Minor discomfort on or near the nail bed.
  • Infection–inflammation and redness accompanied by warmth and pus.
  • Numbness, burning, or warmth on or around the nail.

Ways to tell if you’re at risk:

  • Improper nail trimming and improperly fitted shoes.
  • Aggressive or amateur pedicures–be selective with your pedicurist and let them know upfront that you need them to be extra careful when trimming your nails.
  • Bunions/flat feet can provoke ingrown toenails from pushing your toe around.
  • Arthritis–similar to bunions and flat feet, it can deform your bone, pushing your toe into the next one and triggering your nail to break the skin.
  • Poor foot hygiene can also turn a moderate ingrown toenail into a full blown infection.
  • Naturally curling-inward toenails call for extra precaution to prevent frequent and recurrent ingrown toenails.

How to take care of it:

  • Soaking your feet in warm water to soothe inflammation.
  • Gently lifting the nail bed–this is easier to do when the nail is soft from a foot soak. If it is too painful, please seek the help of your podiatrist.
  • Sitting down with Dr. McKinney to talk about proper nail trimming, finding better fitting shoes, if pedicures are right for you, and so much more

At McKinney Podiatric Associates, P.A.,we are here to help you protect your feet from painful, inconvenient ingrown toenails. Podiatrists like Dr. McKinney help people take better care of their feet! Get to know us and how our quality care can help you by scheduling your next appointment at one of our 8 convenient locations in the Houston area and surrounding towns, or by calling us today at (713) 946-1500.