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Ingrown toenail

QUESTION: ''I have an ingrowing toenail. What should I pay attention to when buying shoes?''

C. Scott, Arnhem

Answer

Ingrown toenails often occur to the big toe. You may experience some pain at the tip of your big toe nail, but should the nail start to penetrate in to the skin, the pain can become significantly worse. It is easy for the nail to become infected around the edge. Some common causes for ingrown toenails are;
  • The nail is cut too short or too rounded
  • The nail is too convex in shape (this could be hereditary)
  • Foot abnormalities such as flat feet
  • Sweaty feet or insufficient drying of the feet
  • Wearing tight-fitting shoes (too narrow, too short or too low). If your shoes are too small you may tend to cut your toe nails shorter which could encourage the ingrowing nail.

Advice

Wearing correctly fitting shoes is extremely important in the prevention of ingrowing toenails, along with other foot complaints. Therefore, make sure that when walking the shoes have enough room around the toe to allow natural foot movement. Breathable, leather shoes prevent ‘sweaty’ feet. Wolky shoes and boots are made from leather and have a leather lining, allowing for breathability and comfort. The sophisticated designs of all Wolky shoes and boots ensure that there is enough space allowed for the toes both width and height ways.
Should you already be experiencing the pain of an ingrown toenail, then go to a qualified chiropodist or doctor for treatment. Don’t put this off as the pain can worsen quickly.

Tips

  1. As the left foot and right foot are often slightly different in size, it is recommended that the shoes favour the bigger foot.
  2. Avoid putting pressure on the nail edge, so choose shoes which give plenty of height at the toe.
  3. Should the nail edges become infected, use some iodine along the edges of the nail and take frequent foot baths (i.e. morning and evening) adding some sodium carbonate to the water. It works as a disinfectant and anti-inflammatory.

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