Narrow-toed shoes are popular footwear for men and women. Although narrow-toed shoes are stylish, the footwear can wreak havoc on your feet. One of the foot issues you want to watch out for when you wear shoes with narrow shoe boxes is ingrown toenails. Find out more about ingrown nails and how to get rid of them here.
Why Do Your Toenails Grow Into Your Skin?
Ingrown toenails occur when the hard plate (or nail) forcibly grows beneath the skin along the sides of your toe. You can create force on your toe skin by rubbing it on a hard surface, or you can develop ingrown toenails from wearing tight, narrow, or flat footwear. People who suffer from sweaty feet or have thick toenails can also develop ingrown toenails.
If you have ingrown toenails in your great toe or smaller toes, try switching to roomier shoes and socks. Tight socks can also force your toenails under your skin. If possible, have your shoes properly fitted at the shoe store.
Also, dry your toes thoroughly after swimming, sweating, or stepping into water. Moisture can soften up the toe skin and allow the nail to grow under it. Germs like fungi can grow inside an ingrown nail.
If you develop ingrown toenails, and they become infected, contact a podiatrist.
How Do You Professionally Treat Ingrown Nails?
Infected ingrown toenails can become problems over time. The infected nail plate and skin may bleed, swell, or fill up with a thick substance called pus. The infection may gradually disappear on its own, or it may worsen with time. If you have infected nails that won't heal right away, reach out to a podiatrist for help.
A podiatrist can treat your infection with topical antiseptics or another type of medication. The medication should do several things for you:
- treat the infectious material at the source
- encourage your nail to grow above the skin
- help new skin grow in place of the damaged skin
If the infection becomes so painful that it interferes with your daily activities, a foot doctor may surgically pull the infected nail from beneath your skin. A doctor may also drain the infected tissues during surgery. Unless you have a health concern to monitor, you may leave the surgical site after your procedure.
If you have ingrown nails and want to treat them, contact a medical professional like Paul Greenberg today.