For us podiatrists winter usually means we see more ingrown nails. During winter, people swap their jandals and sandals to closed in boots and shoes. It is very common for people to choose the wrong size and style for them causing toes to jam together and nails to become ingrown.
An ingrown toenail is when the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the sides of the nail. This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. People are aware when they get an ingrown nail because it hurts!
As podiatrists we will examine the toe and select the treatment best suited for the patient. Treatment may include nail surgery if we are unable to treat it conservatively and the problem is likely to keep reoccurring. A simple procedure performed in the clinic, is commonly needed to ease the pain and remove the offending nail. Surgery may involve numbing the toe and removing a corner of the nail, a larger portion of the nail, or the entire nail.
When choosing shoes – don’t make the mistake of getting a size too small even if they are the last pair in a sale!