walking in sandals can help heal ingrown toenailAs a web-footed Seattleite you probably look forward to unleashing your toes as you sit back and soak up some rays. But did you know that wearing sandals can be beneficial if you have an ingrown toenail? Not only can open-toed shoes relieve the pain and prevent infection but they can also help you heal if you need toenail surgery.

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Although some people will never have an ingrown toenail in their lifetime, many adults, teens, and even kids have to deal with this painful condition. Family history, wearing shoes that are too tight, involvement in sports, toenail fungus, and poor nail trimming can all increase the chances that you will get an ingrown nail.

Can I Treat My Ingrown Toenail At Home?

It depends. If you are young, healthy, and your toenail is not infected you can try the following home remedies:

  • Soak your toe in a footbath – use warm water with Espom salts and soak for 5-10 minutes. Do this 3-4 times a day.
  • Purchase some Neosporin ointment and massage near the ingrown nail to help prevent infection.
  • Wear sandals or open-toed shoes to give your toe room to breathe and prevent infection from setting in.

When Do I Need to Be Seen By A Podiatrist?

Although a foot soak may work for some people, if you’re in the following situation it’s important you contact your Seattle podiatrist to assess your toe situation.

  • You’ve tried the foot soak and you’re still experiencing pain or the skin around your nail is red and swollen.
  • You’ve had toenail surgery before on your ingrown nails.
  • You have a chronic illness – if you have diabetes or a circulatory problem or another problem with your immune system your body has decreased ability to ward off infections.  

Although sandals can go a long way it helping out with an ingrown toenail, it’s only way part of treating this common condition. Toenail surgery can be performed right in our office, results in little pain, and you’re usually back to normal activities quickly.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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