Tight Shoes Can Lead to Ingrown Toenails

by | Aug 24, 2017 | Skin and Nail Conditions

Shoes play an important role in protecting feet and keeping them safe. At the same time, footwear that doesn’t fit correctly can cause a host of issues for your lower limbs. This goes both ways, as shoes really shouldn’t be either too loose or too tight. When you wear a pair that is too loose, you are at risk for blisters or biomechanical issues from a heel that isn’t securely cradled. One of the problems with tight shoes is the heightened risk for ingrown toenails.

The starting point for ingrown nails caused by tight shoes is actually your toenail trimming practices. When clipping your toenails, you should cut them straight across (no rounding!) and make sure they aren’t too short. A reasonable length to strive for is keeping them roughly even with the edge of their respective toes.

Problems happen when toenails are cut short and then you place your feet into shoes that are too tight in the front. This causes the big toe to be pressed against the second. The abnormal pressure on the big toe’s nail forces it to become ingrown.

So what can you do to keep this from happening? Well, to reduce your risk of developing a painful ingrown toenail, simply choose shoes that do not cause your toes to feel pinched or cramped. If any of your toes are pushed over another toe, it’s a clear sign that you need to either move up to a larger size or try a different model or shoe brand.

We hope you are able to avoid this problem in the first place, but if you develop an ingrown toenail, you may want to try treating it at home on your own first. However, if you are diabetic, in a lot of pain, or there appears to be an infection—redness, warmth, oozing pus—come see us for professional treatment.

In the event you have a toenail that repeatedly becomes ingrown, it might not have anything to do with your footwear. Cases like these are often a matter of abnormal curvature in the toe, which is why the problem is recurrent. Typically, the best form of treatment in these instances is to permanently remove the nail.

For more information on ingrown toenails—or to request an appointment for professional treatment—contact Wilks Advanced Foot Care by calling (541) 673-0742. We are here to help you!