If you want to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails, here are a few simple tips:
1. Trim your nails properly
Always use toenail clippers, not fingernail clippers to trim toenails. These larger clippers are meant for larger nails, and you’ll be less likely to damage or split your nails if you use the right tool.
Disinfect toenail clippers by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol before and after use.
Never tear your toenails to trim them.
Trim toenails straight across the width of your toe. Don’t cut your toenails into a curved or v-shape.
Don’t cut your toenails too short – toenails should be even with the tips of your toes. When toenails are clipped extremely short, they have a tendency to grow into the surrounding skin.
2. Choose the right shoe size & shape
Be sure to choose shoes that are wide enough so they don’t squeeze your toes or push your big toe inward. Shoes that put too much pressure on your toes can cause the toenail to grow into the surrounding tissue.
3. Avoid tight, restrictive socks & pantyhose
Avoid tight-fitting socks, or wearing pantyhose for long periods of time. This is especially important if you have flat feet, or other foot conditions that cause your foot to overpronate, or roll inward when you walk. This puts more pressure on the side of your toenails and increases the likelihood of an ingrown toenail.
4. Don’t trim, or pick at toenail cuticles
Many pedicurists automatically trim or cut your cuticles as part of the service. Ask your pedicurist to push back your cuticles instead of cutting them. When doing your pedicure at home, use a moistened orange stick to gently push back cuticles that may be too long. Keeping cuticles intact is important, since they help protect against harmful bacteria and fungus that can cause both a fungal nail infection and lead to the infection of an ingrown toenail.
5. Protect toes from injury
Always wear shoes when walking around, even at home. If your work puts you at risk of injuring your toes, wear protective footwear like steel-toed shoes. If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails or other foot problems.
Are you concerned about ingrown toenails? Have you had repeat bouts of ingrown toenails and are at a loss for what to do about them? Contact us today for an appointment and we can help you find the best solutions to get rid of ingrown toenails for good!