Busting Myths About Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are usually unpleasant. Alongside feeling painful, they often look red and can result in uncomfortable swelling. If they progress to an infection, they may even leave you feeling generally unwell. Despite being common, ingrown toenails come with their fair share of myths. From the need for surgery to how they develop, here's what to remain cautious of.

Myth: You Can Leave Them Alone

Whether the ingrown toenail is on your big toe or elsewhere, you'll be forgiven for thinking the problem will go away without treatment. After all, it's a small area of your body that doesn't often pose problems. Unfortunately, leaving the problem to resolve itself is unlikely to result in success. At best, your toenail will remain in its current state, which is less than ideal. In many cases, neglected ingrown toenails can worsen and the pain becomes excruciating. Because of this, it's always best to seek advice from a podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail.

Myth: Surgery is the Only Treatment

The word surgery is daunting and can often prevent people from seeking treatment. If you're of the belief that an operation is your only option, now's the time to relax. Non-surgical permanent ingrown toenail solutions are available. Ingrowth often occurs because your toenail is curving as it gets bigger. This results in it growing inwards, resulting in the problem returning. Your podiatrist may be able to use bracing technology that prevents your toenail from growing in a curve. As a result, the problem shouldn't occur again. The treatment is brief, but depending on the condition of the nail you may need to attend repeat appointments for the results to remain permanent.

Myth: Cutting the Nail Edges is Effective

Although your podiatrist may use an edge-cutting technique to treat your toenail, this isn't a method you should try yourself. The technique your podiatrist uses requires a specific approach and it's easy to get it wrong when you don't have the right training. Cutting the edges yourself can make the problem worse, especially if it isn't the most appropriate approach for your case. There's also the risk that you'll generate a wound that's open to infection, which can pose further problems. If you suspect your toenail is ingrowing, make an appointment with a professional so they can decide what the best course of action is.

Finally, always avoid using home-based remedies without consulting a podiatrist first. Although they may deliver some temporary comfort, they're unlikely to achieve the results you need.