The most common cause of ingrowing toenails is damp feet. With trends of modern shoes being manufactured out of man-made materials, the foot especially around the toe area, often becomes over-heated and damp. When toenails are damp or wet they expand in all directions as they mop up water like a sponge. This causes them to become misshapen and often they dig into the surrounding skin. So if you are prone to ingrowing toenails – keep your feet dry.
- Wash feet - thoroughly dry them, firstly with a cotton towel then using a hair dryer set to cool, blow them dry to make sure that there is no moisture left anywhere near to the toes.
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting leather shoes, preferably sandals so that fresh air can get to the feet. Avoid trainers or anything similar.
- Choose cotton or cotton/wool mixture socks and change them regularly two or three times each day.
- Make sure that toenails are kept fairly short, straight and neat and always use a good quality nail file rather than scissors or clippers.
- Finally, if too much damage has been done and the ingrowing toenail does not go back to normal then seek a doctor’s advice on possible surgery. Surgery usually involves a small slither of nail being removed from each side of the toenail completely down to the nail bed. The extra width of nail will never grow back and so this is often the option that many consider if they participate in sports and suffer with the pain of ingrowing toenails.