4 Tips for Preventing Ingrown Toenails

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The pain from an ingrown toenail can be very debilitating and the condition can also lead to a fungal toenail infection.

You can help prevent ingrown toenails from occurring by following these four simple tips: 

  1. Protect your feet with properly fitted shoes—One of the easiest ways to prevent a foot injury that can lead to an ingrown toenail is to prevent the injury from happening by wearing protective footwear. Your shoes should have a wide toe box so the toes are not pushed together, since the pressure can cause a nail to push into your skin instead of growing over the top of your toe.
  2. Try not to damage your cuticles—Your cuticles are the growth plate of the nail, so never cut into them. Gently push your cuticles out of the way without causing damage. Not only does your nail grow from that area, but also the cuticles play a role in preventing bacterial and fungal infections.
  3. Having untreated flat feet properly treated—Flat feet can cause a condition called overpronation and the excess pressure from the rolling of the foot can push on the toenails and make them dig into the skin. For some people, even wearing tight fitting socks or pantyhose can create enough pressure to cause your nails to grow inward.
  4. Proper nail cutting technique—One of the main causes of ingrown toenails is not cutting them straight across. A proper, larger toenail cutter will help in this regard without causing the damage and splitting of the smaller clippers. Always clean your nail implements with rubbing alcohol before and after using them to help prevent the spread of infections.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from ingrown toenails, see your foot doctor for the best care. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions, to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.