Why Do I Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails?

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Why Do I Keep Getting Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails are a common problem, and although they can be just a nuisance, they can also lead to severe infections if you're not careful.

Sometimes, an ingrown toenail is a one-time problem. You treat it, and you never have to deal with it again. But some people get them repeatedly. Why?

If you're struggling with recurring ingrown toenails, Dr. Mark Sharobeem and the team at Manhattan Podiatry Group offer expert care and treatment so you can finally get relief and say farewell to ingrown toenails for good.

Signs of an ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail develops when either side of the nail digs into the surrounding skin, causing various signs and symptoms, which include:

  • Swelling
  • Hard skin around the nail
  • Redness
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pus coming from the skin
  • Warm or hot skin around the nail

Not all ingrown toenails become infected, but the risk is higher if you get repeated ingrown nails, pick the nail, or try to remove it on your own.

Ingrown toenails typically affect the big toe, but they can happen on any toe where the nail grows into the fleshy area around it.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Among the things that can lead to an ingrown toenail, many are preventable. However, you could be prone to ingrown nails because of genetics or the anatomy of your feet and toes. Other causes of ingrown nails include:

  • Cutting your toenails incorrectly
  • Shoes that are too tight in the toe box
  • Trauma or injury to the toe
  • Tearing the nail instead of cutting it
  • The shape of your toe compared to the nail

The most common cause of an ingrown toenail is how you cut your nails. Tearing at your nails or cutting them in a rounded pattern makes it easier for the nail to grow into your skin.

Why do I keep getting ingrown nails?

You may continue to get ingrown toenails on the same toe if you don't properly take care of it in the first place. Treating the nail and learning prevention measures can help you avoid another ingrown nail.

One of the biggest reasons people continue to get ingrown toenails is due to improperly trimming the affected nail. You should aim to cut the toenails straight across and not too short.

You may also continue getting ingrown nails from repetitive toe trauma. If you play sports and continually wear shoes that don't protect your feet or fit well, you're at a higher risk of recurring ingrown nails.

Tips to prevent ingrown toenails

After successfully treating your ingrown toenail, it's the right time to start taking the necessary steps to keep it from returning. Dr. Sharobeem offers these tips to keep your nails healthy:

  • Wear shoes that fit right, especially in the toe box
  • Soak your nails in warm water before trimming
  • Always clean your nail clippers before use
  • Trim the nails straight across instead of at an angle
  • Don't tear or rip your nails
  • Try to avoid injuring your toes or nails

If you end up with another ingrown nail, Dr. Sharobeem can help you eliminate the problem through several successful treatments.

Call Manhattan Podiatry Group today to make an appointment or request a consultation at our convenient locations in and around New York City (Downtown Manhattan, Gramercy Park, and Staten Island) and Manalapan, New Jersey, using our convenient online booking tool.