MAYWOOD, Ill. (UPI) — High heels and/or pointed-toe shoes are a leading cause of ingrown toenails, which cause not only pain, but can lead to infection, a U.S. podiatrist says.
Rodney Stuck, professor of podiatry medicine for the Loyola University Health System, says ingrown toenails — onychocryptosis — are among the most common problems arising from high heels. They occur when the toes compress together, making the big toenails grow into the skin.
“Ingrown toenails can be painful, but many women are willing to cope with the discomfort in order to continue wearing their high heels,” Stuck said in a statement. “However, more serious complications can arise and cause permanent damage to the toenail, if they are left untreated.”
Stuck encourages women who wear heels to take these steps to manage ingrown toenails and prevent infection:
— Cut out a cardboard tracing of each foot and attempt to place it in the shoe when shopping for a new pair.
— Refrain from wearing tight hosiery.
— Limit the amount of time in heels.
— Wear heels on days that require limited walking or standing.
— Trim toenails straight across the top.
— Short soak of feet in lukewarm, soapy water or Epsom salts.
— Dry feet and toes thoroughly with a clean towel.
— Use a mild antiseptic solution on the toes.