Oh how we love our shoes! Stylish, dapper, pointed, heels, wedges. But, believe it or not, it’s our shoes that are the #1 culprit in causing ingrown toenails.

Shoes Glorious Shoes

The anatomy of a shoe has a direct effect on how your toenails grow. A shoe should have a cushiony sole and should be well-rounded or square with plenty of room in the toe box—the area from the ball of the foot to the tip of the shoe. It should also have enough depth for all the toes to fit inside comfortably. Fortunately, many shoe manufacturers have responded to the demand for greater toe box room and have come out with many stylish shoes that function well. With this increased room, the toes are not jammed in or squished. This will allow the toenails to grow straighter.

Working out Worries

Exercises and activities that cause your toes to move around in an athletic shoe can cause ingrown nails as well. If the shoe is too tight, it can lead to constant pressure. If it is too loose, toes can jam up against the inside of the shoe. Activities that can contribute to this include running or walking on treadmills, using elliptical machines, participating in racquet sports like tennis, as well as  sports such as basketball and soccer where stopping and pivoting can cause the toenails to be under pressure.

Other Causes

Shoes and sports aren’t the only causes of ingrown toenails, however. There can be a hereditary component to how your toenails grow as well. It is possible to have a curved-in toenail from birth and sometimes ingrown toenails can even occur from the fetal position in the womb. For this reason, children should always be checked for possible nail problems.

Another culprit to the condition is improper cutting or trimming. Nails should be cut straight across. Following the curve can cause the nail to dig into the surrounding flesh and an ingrown toenail to develop. Be sure not to trim nails too short, either—it’s best to keep them even with the tip of the toe. If you find these tips difficult to follow, play it safe and pay us a visit. We are happy to trim your nails for you.

Watch For Signs of Infection

If one of your toenails becomes red, swollen, or is draining, come see us right away.  An ingrown toenail left untreated can lead to an infection. Immediate care will include removing the offending nail portion and may require local anesthesia to do so. You will need to redress this area at least once per day with a topical antimicrobial ointment or cream. Oral antibiotic therapy may also be necessary. Chronically ingrown toenails can be alleviated with periodic visits to Podiatry Care Specialists, PC. There are also procedures that can eliminate the nail root (nail matrix) permanently.

  We treat ingrown toenails on a daily basis. Instead of suffering in pain, invest in your foot health and come see us today. We have offices in Audubon, Exton, Newtown Square, and 2 in West Chester, PA. Call us at (877) 905-5907 to make an appointment. We are dedicated to keeping you healthy from head to toe (nails)!