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"What Should I Do If I Have A Painful Ingrown Toenail?"

Whether you know it or not, most people have at least one ingrown toenail. Some causes include tight shoes, excessive foot motion inside a shoe, improper cutting or having a boney "spur" ("exostosis") underneath the nail. Here are some pointers:

1.Cut your nails straight across but "slightly" rounded in the corners- By doing this, you will cut down on pointy edges that can lead to infections.

2. Apply a nail softener daily- You can start with coconut oil or cocoa butter. If that doesn't do the trick, there are stronger ones available like urea cream. Speak to your podiatrist about it.

3. If you use nail polish, remove it from the side of the painful nail- This will reduce the hardness and stickiness of the nail to the skin.

4. "Play the piano" with your toes inside your shoes- Make sure you have 1 inch (a thumb’s width) from your longest toe ( not necessarily the big toe) to the end of your shoe.

5. Consider orthotics- “Orthotics” (prescription arch supports) can reduce excessive foot motion, which then lessens your chances of shoe-related nail problems.

In conclusion, ingrown toenails are a very common foot problem. Without medical contraindications (such as diabetes, poor, circulation or neuropathy), you can try to treat it yourself. If you are unable to properly care for your ingrown nail, then visit a podiatrist.

Climb aboard the ‘Wellness Wagon” and remember to “Start With Your Feet".

Walk Strong…with orthotics,

Doc Rick DPM

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