Many people like to keep their toenails short whether it is for comfort or for looks, but maintaining good health with toenails can be difficult for some, whether it be cutting nails too short or letting them grow too long. There is such a thing as too short, though; often, if your toenails are too short it will result in onychogryphosis or ingrown toenails.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are most common on the side of your big toes. Although the length of your nail does play a big role, ingrown toenails can also be caused by your shoe pressure, injuries, infections, poor foot structure, and in some cases they are hereditary.
Ingrown toenails occur from the sides of your toenail digging into your skin, causing a painful infection. Because ingrown toenails begin as hard swollen infections, they are easy to spot. If left untreated, though, they will become red, sore, and infected as the skin around your nail begins to grow over the toenail itself.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options
In most cases, treating an ingrown toenail is simple. We suggest that you soak your foot in a warm, soapy bath, several times every day, until the condition clears. While treating your ingrown toenail, you should avoid wearing tight shoes and socks when possible. To prevent ingrown toenails you should consider the following:
- Trimming toenails straight across with no rounded corners
- Ensuring that shoes and socks are not too tight
- Keeping feet clean at all times
If your ingrown toenail infection is severe, you may be prescribed certain antibiotics to get rid of the infection. If very rare cases, an ingrown toenail can lead to an acute infection, which will require a surgical removal of part of your toenail. This procedure is known as a partial nail plate avulsion where your toe will be injected with an anesthetic before cutting a piece of the nail off.