Even if you have never had a problem with ingrown toenails before, if you are pregnant, it is likely that you will experience one during your pregnancy. This is for several reasons. First, your nails tend to grow more rapidly during pregnancy, so they require more frequent care. Secondly, your feet and ankles may swell, increasing the likelihood that the edges of your nails will dig into the flesh around your toenails. However, there are several things you can do to prevent ingrown toenails or care for them while you are pregnant.
Wear Open-Toed Shoes or Go Barefoot When Possible
One common cause of ingrown toenails is repeated trauma to the toenail from being inside a shoe throughout the day. For anyone with a history of ingrown toenails, it is a good idea to wear open-toed shoes during the summer and consider going barefoot at home. However, as a pregnant woman, you should be more aware of your raised risk for ingrown toenails and limit closed-toed shoes as much as possible. If you wear closed-toed shoes, you should avoid types that put extra pressure on your toes, such as high heels.
Purchase Well-fitting Shoes Throughout Your Pregnancy
Throughout your pregnancy, the size and shape of your feet may change. Besides swelling, you may notice that your feet become flatter and wider, due to increased amounts of hormones in your body as well as your increased weight. You may even notice that your shoe size increases. Any time you feel that your shoes are tight, you should consider getting professionally fitted for a new pair of shoes. You should avoid squeezing your feet into shoes that do not fit or that feel uncomfortable.
Take Measures to Reduce Swelling
Most pregnant women experience mild to moderate edema in their ankles and feet. Edema can lead to ingrown toenails even if you are not wearing shoes, because the flesh around your toenails can swell up around the edges of your toenails. However, this swelling can be reduced by taking a few precautionary measures. For example, you should elevate your feet while you are resting, take frequent breaks from standing or sitting, get plenty of exercise, and limit your salt intake.
Groom Your Toenails Appropriately
Toenails should not be cut too short and should be cut across in a straight line, as opposed to a curve. They should not be allowed to grow too long, as this puts them at risk for curling back into your toe. Because your nails will likely grow faster during pregnancy, you may find that you have to clip or file your toenails multiple times a week in order to keep them the perfect length.
As your pregnancy progresses, if it is difficult for you to groom your toes, you may ask your partner or a friend to clip your nails for you. Alternatively, you may go to a nail salon. However, you should make sure that they sanitize all of their equipment properly between customers or bring your own nail-care kit.
Visit a Podiatrist If You Have Problems
If you have ingrown toenails while pregnant, you may want to visit a podiatrist at an office like Foot First Podiatry Centers to seek relief. Immediate treatment can prevent the problem from progressing and improve your pregnancy experience. Most treatments for ingrown toenails, including partial or full removal of the toenail, are safe to complete during pregnancy. After some procedures, such as a full toenail removal, you may need light pain relievers. However, your podiatrist will be able to recommend pain relievers that are low-risk for you and your baby.
If you suffer from ingrown toenails and are pregnant, you should follow the above tips to reduce their impact on your life.Share
12 July 2016
When I developed tendinitis of my foot and ankle, my podiatrist helped me on the road to recovery. An over-use injury from the job caused me considerable pain in my foot and ankle. Ice, elevation, rest, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory relieved my inflammation of the tendons. My podiatrist also prescribed physical therapy, which helped restore my mobility. Gentle stretching exercises performed during physical therapy seemed to have a positive effect. I was shown how to follow up these exercises at home. After several weeks of following doctor's orders, my podiatrist was happy with the results. The bottom line is if you're suffering from foot pain or injury, you should see a foot specialist as soon as possible because treatment options are available.