Why Ingrown Toenails Are Common In The Winter

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition that lead people to seek help at a podiatrist’s office. This painful foot concern occurs when a corner of the toenail digs into the skin, either at the end or the side of the toe. The area becomes painful and inflamed at the site first and it can develop extra tissue or drain a yellowish fluid.

If the condition is not treated, the toe can become infected or develop an abscess that may need surgery. In rare cases, the bone itself may become infected.

Why Ingrown Toenails are Common in the Winter

Ingrown toenails are common in the winter months for a couple of reasons:

  1. Feet are confined to heavy boots and shoes with thicker socks than at other times of the year. With little room to move, it’s easier for nails to get stuck into soft tissue of the toes.
  2. Since feet and toes are not on display as often as they are during warmer months, it’s easy to slack off from regular foot grooming, including keeping toenails trimmed regularly. Longer nails or nails which are not trimmed straight make it easier for ingrown toenails to develop.

How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Make sure that you choose winter footwear that leaves enough room for your toes to move. The more often you wear narrow boots and shoes, the more likely you will develop this type of problem.

Make regular foot grooming a year-round practice. Wash and dry feet regularly. Check the nails to make sure they are neatly trimmed, and cut them off straight so that they don’t dig into the flesh.

If you have any concerns about the conditions of your feet or nails, contact Sheldon H. Nadal, D.P.M. to schedule a personal consultation. He will conduct an examination and discuss them with you.