Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a loop? Experiencing the same problems over and over again, no matter how hard you try, painful and unattractive irritations keep returning? This is exactly what it is like to live with ingrown toenails, and there may be a few explanations as to why. Don’t threat there may be a solution to your ongoing problem!
Here are a few reasons you might be caught in this loop.
You’re wearing the wrong shoes.
Research has shown that more than half of the population regularly wear shoes that are the wrong size for their feet; if you are part of that percentage, the chances that you will develop an ingrown toenail are increasingly higher, especially if you’re an avid trekker. Please take a look at our blog on choosing the right walking boots; this is a step in the right direction.
Shoes that are too tight tend to pinch and compress your toes. Furthermore, they interfere with the forward growth of your nails, causing them to grow down into the surrounding skin. It is possible you brought the wrong length or width or simply that the style of the shoe itself may not be a good fit for your feet. Not only that but shoes that are too small tend to lose that breathable feeling and cause your feet to sweat a lot more. This could open the door to other problems such as fungal nail infections.
On the other hand, shoes that are too big aren’t much better, as they tend to slide around on your feet, causing the nails to bang into the front of the shoe repeatedly.
You aren’t cutting your nails correctly.
Although it may seem impossible to cut your toenails incorrectly, it is actually more common than you think! If you haven’t been taught the correct way to trim your toenails, you may unintentionally be enabling the development of ingrown toenails.
There are three main mistakes people make when it comes to toenail trimming:
- Allowing them to grow too long – Exceedingly long toenails are more liable to getting pressed inward or curving downward.
- Cutting them too short – Nails that are too short are more likely to snag into the surrounding skin as they grow out.
- Curving the corners too much – You should avoid cutting back the corners on your toenails like you would with your fingernails.
You should aim to leave your toenails about even with the tip of the toe, cutting them in a relatively straight line from corner to corner. It is also recommended you use a devoted toenail clipper with longer, wider arms-you achieve more leverage for a cleaner cut. In addition, toenails should be trimmed while dry to reduce the risk of tearing.
You just have curvy nails.
This may be the most discouraging circumstance, and if you are frequently experiencing ingrown toenails, curvy nails are the most likely explanation.
Sadly, you may just be naturally prone to ingrown toenails, regardless of wearing proper shoes and trimming properly. Curved nails continue to find the soft surrounding flesh time and time again.
How do I break the cycle?
The simple answer is you need to book an appointment with a comprehensive foot centre; any individual suffering from ingrown toenails will quickly be relieved.
They are able to numb the toe, gently cut out the ingrown toenail and bandage you up without any problems! At the same appointment, a procedure known as Matrixectomy can be performed. This not only removes the edge of the nail itself but also removes a tiny slice of the nail bed responsible for growing new nail tissue along that edge.
Unfortunately, the recovery time for matrixectomy is considerably longer. Nevertheless, you should be able to return to your day to day routines the very next day! Another fantastic benefit of this procedure is your odds of getting another ingrown toenail later-at least along that edge of the toe-is basically non-existent.
Last Updated: August 2021