Why Do I Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common and often painful foot condition that many people experience at some point in their lives. They can be a persistent and bothersome problem for some individuals, leading them to wonder, “Why do I keep getting ingrown toenails?”

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail, medically known as onychocryptosis, occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain, redness, swelling, and even infection. This condition is most common in the big toe but can affect any toe on the foot.

Why Would I Have a Recurring Ingrown Toenail?

Recurring ingrown toenails can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but they’re not uncommon. Several factors contribute to the recurrence of this condition, including

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Tight Shoes: Wearing ill-fitting or narrow shoes can put constant pressure on your toes, leading to the toenail’s edge digging into the surrounding skin. This constant irritation can cause ingrown toenails to reoccur. It’s crucial to choose shoes that provide enough room for your toes, allowing them to move naturally without being compressed or pinched.

Toe Injury: Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing it or dropping a heavy object on it, can result in ingrown toenails. Injuries can deform the nail and surrounding skin, making it more likely for the nail to grow into the flesh. To prevent injury-related ingrown toenails, practice caution and wear protective footwear when needed.

Trimming Nails Too Short or Rounding the Edges: Cutting your toenails too short or rounding the edges instead of keeping them straight across can encourage the nail to grow into the skin. Proper nail trimming is essential in preventing ingrown toenails. To trim your toenails correctly, use proper nail clippers and cut them straight across. Avoid cutting the corners too deeply, which can promote ingrown toenails.

Foot Structure Prone to Ingrown Toenails: In some cases, individuals may have a foot structure that predisposes them to ingrown toenails. For example, a naturally curved toenail or excess skin around the nail can make it more likely to become ingrown. If your foot structure is contributing to the issue, a podiatrist can offer solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Beautiful female legs and feet on a white background. Concept beauty and hydration of the skin.

What Can Be Done to Stop Ingrown Toenails?

The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to address the underlying causes:

Fix the Cause: If tight shoes, improper nail trimming, or other external factors are contributing to your ingrown toenails, make sure to address these issues. Choose comfortable, well-fitting footwear and trim your toenails straight across, rather than rounding the edges. Also, be mindful of any potential injuries and take precautions to protect your toes.

Have Our Team Permanently Fix the Nail: If you’re prone to recurring ingrown toenails, consulting our team can be a great solution. We can perform a procedure to permanently remove a portion of the ingrown nail or use other techniques to prevent the nail from growing into the skin. This can offer long-term relief from the problem. In some cases, we may recommend a partial nail avulsion, a procedure that involves the removal of a section of the nail to prevent further ingrowth.

Proper Foot Care: Maintaining good foot hygiene can also help prevent ingrown toenails. Wash your feet daily, keep your nails clean, and moisturize the skin around your nails to prevent dryness and cracking. Healthy skin is less likely to provide an entry point for ingrown nails.

Orthotic Devices: If your foot structure is predisposing you to ingrown toenails, we may recommend custom orthotics or insoles to help redistribute pressure on your toes, reducing the risk of ingrown toenails.

Dietary Considerations: Some studies suggest that a diet rich in certain nutrients, such as biotin, can promote healthy nails. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if dietary changes or supplements may be beneficial for your specific situation.

Get Help for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be painful and frustrating, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you’re experiencing recurring ingrown toenails, it’s essential to seek professional help. Our experienced podiatrists are here to provide the necessary treatment and guidance to alleviate your discomfort and prevent future ingrown toenails. Don’t wait any longer – contact us to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards healthier, pain-free feet. Your comfort and well-being are our top priorities, and we’re here to help you put an end to those nagging ingrown toenails once and for all.