The pain from an ingrown toenail can be intense. Wearing certain types of shoes can make it even worse, leaving you struggling to walk. Here are four types of footwear to avoid while you wait for an appointment with an ingrown toenail service.
1. Pointed Toe Shoes
Shoes with pointed ends crowd your toes together, putting pressure on your ingrown toenail. This can cause intense pain and inflammation as the nail presses further into the skin. Pointed toe shoes also encourage the formation of bunions, so they're always best avoided. Wear shoes with rounded toes that are wide enough for your feet.
2. High Heels
High heels push your weight onto the front of your foot, causing the pressure on your ingrown toenail to increase. This can quickly become very painful. Give your feet a break by wearing flats.
3. Shoes That Are Too Small or Too Loose
Shoes that are too narrow can push on the sides of your toes, driving the toenail further into the flesh. Shoes that are too short are also a problem, as the front of your shoe can press on the big toe. However, don't assume that wearing shoes that are a size too big will solve your problem. When your shoes are too loose around the ankle, your foot can slip forward and push against the front of the shoe, especially when you are walking downhill. Always try to wear properly fitting shoes. If you wear shoes with laces, you can use a lace lock to tighten the shoe around your ankle without tightening the shoe too much around the toes.
It's not just shoes that can irritate an ingrown toenail. Tights, particularly those with seams on the toes, can rub against an ingrown toenail and make it very sore. Go bare-legged until your toenail heals up, or cut the toes out of your tights to take the pressure off your sore toes. If you don't like your feet to be bare inside your shoes, a pair of clean, loose-fitting socks is likely to cause less irritation.
When you have an ingrown toenail, a better footwear choice includes open-toe sandals, which allow your toes to spread out. If you work in an office, you may find it beneficial to slip your shoes off while your feet are underneath your desk. This gives your feet a break from being squashed inside shoes.