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Family Foot & Ankle

Tips for Preventing Ingrown Toenails

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Cincinnati is constantly being transformed, but 2014 has brought a new wave of downtown development, with new residential units and downtown towers, and plenty of road construction either in progress or still in the planning stages—Fourth and Race, Seven at Broadway, etc. Many construction projects require ground to be broken, with excavators digging into the soil and preparing the ground for building. If you have ingrown toenails digging into your skin, however, the only thing they may be building is pain and infection.

If you want to stave off the toenail pain and prevent this nasty affliction from touching your tootsies, remember that it’s all about how you trim and what you wear.

When it comes to trimming, there are two major tips. First, when you clip your toenails, go straight across from corner to corner. Don’t clip off the corners or follow the rounding of your toe. A curved leading edge is more likely to dig into the skin as it grows out. Second, be sure to leave your toenails at a moderate length—keep them about even with the tips of your toes. Toenails are there to protect your toes; if you remove too much of the barrier, exterior pressure from your shoes may divert the re-growing nail inward rather than straight out.

That brings us nicely to the second big part of ingrown toenail prevention: shoes. Ill-fitting footwear that squeezes the toe box leaves the nails with no place left to go but digging into the tissue. Remember to wear the right shoes for the right activities—walking, running, sport-specific—and make sure there’s lots of space for toes to wiggle around.

Not all ingrown toenails require medical treatment. However, if you have diabetes, are experiencing persistent pain, or notice any signs of infection in your nails or toes, be sure to give us a call at Family Foot and Ankle. Dial (513) 728-4800 for one of our offices in Cincinnati, Finneytown, Hamilton, or Fairfield, or (859) 282-1572 for Florence, KY.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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