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Ingrown toenails are nothing less than annoying. They occur when part of the toenail grows through the skin surrounding the nail. The majority of ingrown toenails happen on the big toe. 

Ingrown toenails don’t usually require serious treatment. But sometimes they can cause complications, and professional help is necessary. People with diabetes or auto-immune diseases are at higher risk of complications from ingrown toenails. 

Heavenly Foot Care is a mobile podiatry service that can help heal your toenails. Contact us today to book an appointment in St. Catharines. 

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail. Athletes or people with sweaty feet are much more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. Senior citizens also have problems with their toenails because they tend to thicken as we age.

Here are some of the most common causes of ingrown toenails:

  • Cutting your toenails incorrectly or at awkward angles 
  • Abnormal toenail shape
  • Ill-fitted shoes that put added pressure around the big toes
  • Traumatic toenail injuries
  • Bad foot hygiene 
  • Genetics

Extensive physical exercise is one of the leading causes of ingrown toenails. Soccer players, kickboxers, ballet dancers, and football players are especially at higher risk because of the constant impact on the toes. 

Common Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenails

The most common symptom of ingrown toenails is pain. When the nail enters the skin, the affected area becomes inflamed and painful to touch. Fluid can also build up around the toe, causing discomfort. 

More serious cases of ingrown toenails may cause infections. If you’re experiencing any of the following, chances are you have an ingrown toenail:

  • Tender red skin around the sides of your toe
  • Swollen and painful toes
  • Red or purple colour around the toenail
  • Signs of infection around the base or sides of the toenail

Symptoms are typically mild, but if you’re experiencing unbearable pain, you should call your doctor right away.

How To Treat Ingrown Toenails At Home

As long as your toenail hasn’t become infected, you can treat your ingrown toenail at home. Here are some of the things you can do to manage your symptoms:

  • Soaking your feet in warm water can help reduce the swelling and make walking around more comfortable.
  • Keep your feet dry to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Use something wedged to help lift your toenail from the skin.
  • Keep your toe covered and use antibacterial cream if necessary.
  • Occasionally take over the counter pain relievers. 

If your symptoms keep getting worse, you may need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to provide a stronger treatment which will hopefully recover your nail.

Who Is At Risk?

Anyone can develop an ingrown toenail. However, there are a few risk factors that could make you more vulnerable such as:

  • Regularly wearing ill-fitted shoes
  • Poor feet hygiene
  • Traumatic injury
  • Medications that encourage skin growth
  • Diabetes
  • Trimming your toenails incorrectly

Why You Need To Treat An Ingrown Toenail

While an ingrown toenail is relatively harmless, serious cases should be treated right away. Otherwise, you run the risk of other serious complications. One of the most common complications caused by an ingrown toenail is infection. The soft tissues around the nail become exposed to bacteria and fungi that can eat away at the toe.

Contact The Friendly Heavenly Foot Care Team Today!

Are you or a loved one currently suffering from an ingrown toenail? Heavenly Foot Care is a mobile podiatry service that can get your nails back on track. All of our treatments are done right in the comfort of your own home. Call us today at (905) 931-9965 or email to schedule an appointment.