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Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Updated: Jun 24

Ingrown toenails can quickly become a real nuisance in your daily life. Without the right treatment, they can become extremely painful and can even cause long term health problems. As a result, it is always a good idea to visit an ingrown toenail clinic or another facility that offers ingrown toenail treatment. In most cases, an ingrown toenail will cause pain, however there will be no long term damages once it has been treated. In certain circumstances, ingrown toenail removal may also be required should the nail cause significant pain. Here are some of the main causes of ingrown toenails


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Heredity


Unfortunately, your genes have a large impact on whether or not you will ever develop ingrown toenails. If one or both your parents have experienced ingrown toenails in their life, it is likely you will develop it at least once throughout your lifetime. If this does occur, your parents will be able to inform you of how they dealt with the issue as well as provide you with any tips they picked up throughout their experience.




Poor-fitting footwear


Your choice of footwear will contribute to the growth of your toenails and therefore can impact the development of an ingrown toenail. By crowding your feet into tight-fitting shoes will increase the risk of ingrown toenails. This is one of the reasons that children and teenagers develop ingrown toenails while their feet are growing. They may quickly outgrow their footwear in only a few months, which can leave them with tight shoes for some time before they are replaced. Always make sure that your footwear is appropriately fit to ensure your nails have the room they need to grow.


Trauma


On the rare occasion where you accidentally stubbed or jammed your toe on something such as a chair or table, thismight actually cause an ingrown toenail to develop as well. This can also be caused by dropping a heavy item on your toe or participating in a sport that places pressure on your toes. Such sports including running (both sprinting and long-distance), football and ballet. Make sure that you have the best possible footwear for each of these as this will help to limit and lower your risk.


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Incorrect Trimming


This is one of the most common causes of ingrown toenails. It is caused when an individual cut their nails too short. Whilst being so short, the skin around the nails automatically folds over as a natural form of protection. This causes the nail to grow into the skin, causing extremely painful ingrown nails. When using the clippers, make sure to always cut across. Never cut down or in the direction of your skin.


Pedicures


All around the globe, thousands of individuals enjoy getting pedicures every month. This practice in itself is completely fine and when completed by a skilled technician, can bring a wide array of benefits. However, if the nail technician is overly aggressive when it comes to cutting back the toenail, they may actually cause more harm than good. Much like cutting the nail back too much yourself, the technician can repeat this causing painful ingrown toenails. It is fine to continue with your pedicures, just make sure your technician has the right experience and knowledge!


Poor Circulation


According to modern research, adults who have been diagnosed with poor circulation are more prone to the development of ingrown toenails. If you have a history of diabetes, heart disease or you have used tobacco must of your life, it is important to see a doctor regarding ingrown toenails. Not only can this cause ingrown toenails, but a number of additional side effects which can be detrimental to your life.


Treatment For Ingrown Toenails


So, you have developed an ingrown toenail that is causing you some minor discomfort. There is no reason to panic and if treated correctly the nail may correct itself. Here are some of the best ways you can treat your nail without causing extra pain or damage.

  1. Soak In Warm Soapy Water

Much like any other cut, you want to keep the area as clean and bacteria-free as possible. Soaking the foot will help to reduce any swelling in the area as well as ease pain. This should be repeated around three times a day for up to 20 minutes. If you are not a fan of soap, or wish for greater relief you can also add Epsom salts to the water for further pain relief.

  1. Only Wear Comfortable Shoes and Socks

If you have already developed an ingrown toenail, you want to make sure it is not restricted in footwear. Avoid all shoes and socks that may be too tight and if possible, simply avoid them altogether. This will help the toenail from worsening by providing it with the necessary space it requires. Limit the pressure on your toenails wherever possible as this will help to speed up recovery.

  1. See A Professional

If your infected toenail continuously worsens or if the pain becomes too extreme for home treatment, visit an ingrown toenail clinic. They can provide you with professional ingrown toenail treatment or ingrown toenail removal services if the nail has become too damaged or the pain too severe. This will allow for the infection to effectively heal whilst also preventing recurring ingrown toenails in the future. If you are unsure as to whether or not you need to see a professional, call your local doctors to gain professional medical advice.

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