Ingrown toenails are a pain, but when treated correctly, oftentimes the problem can be taken care of permanently. However, for some individuals, ingrown toenails become a regular recurrence every couple of months. Why do these ingrown toenails keep coming back, and what can you do to put an end to chronic ingrown toenails? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.
Causes of Chronic Ingrown Toenails
Chronic ingrown toenails occur for the same reasons that a one-time ingrown toenail develops. If you are dealing with regular ingrown toenail development, odds are you are ignoring one of the following risk factors or causes.
Improper Trimming – When you cut your toenails, you want to make sure that you are cutting them straight across the top. Do not round the edges. If you round the edges or cut them too low, there’s a decent chance that the nail will grow back at such an angle that an ingrown toenail will develop. Carefully cut across the nail until it is fully removed, do not partially cut and them rip the rest, and this can also lead to ill-shaped nails and ingrown toenails.
Bad Footwear – Another common cause of chronic ingrown toenails is regularly wearing bad constrictive footwear. If you have tight shoes or footwear that has a narrow toe box, there’s a chance that this pressure is causing your toenail to grow in the wrong direction. If there is too much constrictive force on the toenail, it can begin to grow into the skin because it has nowhere else to go.
Trauma – While it’s unlikely that you are regularly hurting your toe on a monthly basis and disrupting the growth of the nail, some people who suffer a severe injury to their toe can actually shift the growth plate of the nail. Instead of growing straight up, it could grow slightly up and left or up and right, which can cause regular development of ingrown toenails.
Foot Genetics – Although it is the least common of the above causes, some people have certain foot characteristics that make them more prone to ingrown toenail development. One such characteristic is having unusually curved toenails.
Treating Chronically Ingrown Toenails
Rectifying the problem should help to reduce the onset of chronic ingrown toenails. So by looking at the causes and identifying the likely problem, we can make the necessary changes. Make sure you are cutting your nails with proper techniques, and ditch the narrow toe box shoes, or at least wear them in moderation.
But what should you do if you can’t easily fix the problem because trauma or foot genetics are your root cause of chronic ingrown toenails? In this situation, your best bet is to contact a foot specialist like Dr. Silverman. He can examine the foot, pinpoint the underlying cause and walk your through some treatment options. There’s a chance that conservative options will take care of the problem, but if not, he can perform a minimally invasive procedure to cut the nail and adjust it so that it doesn’t continue to be a problem.