Have you been getting outside much this summer? It’s never too late to get started! While hiking has always been a beloved American past time, hiking has recently become more popular across many age groups. Many of our patients at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center are passionate hikers! Many active people experience various aches and pains in their feet and ankles. One of the most common ailments of frequent hikers, or even just people who take long walks every day, are ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail happens when the nail on our toe begins to grow inward and can actually puncture back into our own skin, causing a painful wound that can wind up infected. But what would cause our toenail to grow inward? As it turns out, there are a few ways that this can happen - but we can help you prevent it!
Tip #1 - Most often, ingrown toenails occur as a result of improperly trimming the toenail. When a toenail is cut too short or is cut too far at an angle, this can provoke the nail to grow back in the wrong direction and cause painful inflammation and infection. To avoid this, our tip is to be careful how and who you let trim your toenails. Ask Dr. Michele Kurlanski for tips at your next appointment!
Tip #2 - Another way that your toe can develop an ingrown toenail is due to traumatic impact. This can happen if you’re running, for example, and trip hard on your toe which can result in your toenail puncturing the skin below or beside it due to the impact. You don’t have to be running for this to happen - it can even happen just from standing or walking for long periods of time!
Tip #3 - Lastly, one of the other most common ways we can trigger the development of ingrown toenails is by wearing improperly fitting shoes. When our shoes are too tight, our toes become restricted and this can put pressure on the nail bed, causing irritation and inflammation. Alternatively, if our shoes are too loose, your feet can slide around too much and cause your toe to get jammed up against the tip of your shoe.
Don’t let an ingrown toenail put a damper on the rest of your fun-filled summer plans! Call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your next appointment at our location with a convenient in-office foot store in Scarborough, Maine.