5 Common Misconceptions about Ingrown Toenails You Must Know!

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Foot problems are a common issue that many people experience. However, not all foot problems are given the attention they deserve. One such condition is an ingrown toenail. There are a lot of common misconceptions surrounding ingrown toenails that we hear from patients. These misconceptions can cause unnecessary pain and complications. Today, we’re here to share five of these misconceptions and hope to clarify them.

Misconception 1 – You should try several home remedies before seeing your podiatrist.

This is not true. Most “remedies” people try at home fall into the “folk medicine” category, which can harm and lead to an infection rather than cure it. Never use a sharp object to cut or remove an ingrown toenail. Avoid putting cotton or other material between the nail and the nail bed. Taking over-the-counter drugs is also not advised. Bathing the toe in warm water and Epsom salts for 15-20 minutes a few times daily is the only safe home remedy for a mildly ingrown nail. This may allow you to massage the nail out of the skin gently. If you don’t see results within a few days, you should see a podiatrist.

Misconception 2 – Ingrown toenails aren’t a serious medical risk.

This is also not true, especially for patients who struggle with poor circulation, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, and other disorders that restrict blood flow to the legs and feet; an ingrown toenail can become an open wound. Even for patients who do not have these conditions, the risk of infection increases once the nail pierces the skin.

Misconception 3 – Ingrown toenails happen—you can’t do anything to prevent them.

One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is improper nail cutting. Remember to trim your nails straight across and never too short. Do not round the edges. Wearing tight shoes that crowd your toenails also plays a role in causing ingrown toenails.

Misconception 4 – Your shoes have nothing to do with ingrown toenails.

Unfortunately, many people believe in this myth. Properly fitted and practical footwear can be the difference between a reoccurring ingrown toenail and a healthy nail.

Misconception 5 – Ingrown nail treatment is so painful that you’ll want to avoid it for as long as possible.

Most patients with ingrown toenails leave our clinics in far less pain than when they arrived. When treating ingrown nails, our podiatrists are careful, and a numbing drug is occasionally used.

At the New Jersey Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons Group, there are almost 30 foot and ankle surgeons, podiatrists, and doctors. With more than 30 locations, from Newark, NJ, to Cape May, NJ, we value convenience and excellent service for our patients. We are committed to offering the highest standard of skillful and thoughtful care. Our group is among the best foot and ankle providers in the country. To schedule an appointment, first find a podiatrist in your area. We look forward to learning how we might be of service to you.