Without meaning to, people do things that can cause themselves pain and discomfort. People like to call it “shooting yourself in the foot.” Rarely does this actually involve shooting your own foot, but stuff people do and say can work against themselves. That can certainly be the case with ingrown toenails. Many people can cause their own ingrown nails without meaning to, simply by how they care for their own feet.
Ingrown toenails develop when your toenail curves and grows into your soft skin, pinching or piercing it painfully. This can develop on its own if you have naturally curved nails. Sometimes a toe injury, like stubbing your foot or dropping something heavy on your toe—can damage the nail and cause curving as well. For many people, however, it’s a condition that develops gradually because of outside pressure on your feet, or even poor nail hygiene.
One of the big causes of ingrown toenails is actually the shoes you wear. Shoes that squeeze your toes or put pressure on the edges of your nails can curve and curl them, so they grow into your skin instead of above it. Shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or too small are common culprits—and wearing them increases your own risks for this painful nail problem.
Nail hygiene is another major cause and something you might be doing to yourself. Toenails need to be trimmed to the right length and straight across, so the edges are left intact and are less likely to curve. Letting your nails grow too long, cutting the sides and edges, or making your nails far too short increases your odds for a problem. Longer nails are more susceptible to pressure from shoes and socks. Trimmed edges or too-short nails might grow back into your skin instead of above it.
Several ingrown toenail causes involve the way you treat your own feet. Still, whether you accidentally created your own ingrown nail or not, don’t just live with it. Let our experts at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper help you eliminate your painful nail problems. Just call (812) 481-7200 or use our online forms to connect with our Jasper, IN, office for an appointment today.