Proper foot care is vital for everyone; after all, when your feet hurt, this can interfere with your ability to stand or walk, even for a short time. With an injured foot, you might not even be able to drive; if the bottoms of your feet become numb or painful, they may slip off the pedals of a car or you may struggle to apply proper pressure, so you lose control of the vehicle.
Many people give little to no thought about proper foot care until they have a problem such as ingrown toenails; these occur when the toenail edge grows back into the toe. This can be very painful, as the very edge of the toenail should separate from the toe. The skin at the edge of the toe is not meant to have a nail embedded into it. To avoid this problem with your feet, note a few commonly asked questions about ingrown toenails, and then discuss these with a podiatrist as needed.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails are often caused by cutting the outer edge of toenails too deeply, so that they grow to the side rather than straight out. Very tight shoes can also force the nails to stay embedded in the skin of the toe. In some cases, ingrown toenails can be the result of age and of how your feet naturally grow. Be sure you talk to your doctor about the best way to cut nails and also be sure you wear comfortable shoes that don't pinch, so you can do everything possible to avoid this condition.
Do antibiotics treat ingrown toenails?
Antibiotics are prescribed to treat infections; infections can often occur with ingrown toenails, but antibiotics will not fix the ingrown toenail itself. If the toenail is not trimmed properly so that it grows as it should, those infections may return, and you may eventually need surgery to cut away most of the toenail and stop it from growing into the nail bed.
Do ingrown toenails always require surgery?
Surgery is often a last resort for ingrown toenails; soaking feet in Epsom salts can soften a toenail and allow it to grow properly, away from the nail bed. You can also avoid cutting the toenail until it's extended past the tip of the toe, to allow it to regrow properly. However, if these fixes don't address the problem, and you continue to have pain or infections due to an ingrown nail, you may then need to resort to surgery.
If you are like me, you have probably been in embarrassed in the past about having thick, yellow or otherwise unsightly toenails. You may have even suffered pain from your toenails. Those statements used to describe me, but with the help of my family and podiatrist, my toenails have returned to a strong, clear and beautiful state. The journey wasn't always easy, and it forced me to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research. As a result, I learned everything you can find in these blog posts. I see other people with painful looking toenails on the street, and I want to help them with some pointers, but walking up to strangers – however well intentioned – is a bit beyond my comfort levels so I decided to create this blog. I hope it helps and entertains you!