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4 Ways to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

how to prevent ingrown toenails

Having an ingrown toenail can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable experience. When the edge or corner of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin of your toe, it can cause redness, swelling, and even an infection. Luckily, there are several you can do to lower your risk, or even prevent an ingrown toenail.



1. Trim your toenails the right way

One of the main causes of ingrown toenails is your toenails not being trimmed correctly. Here are some tips on how to trim your toenails.


  • Use a straight-edge toenail clipper to trim your toenails. Using scissors or round-edge toenail clippers can increase the risk of getting an ingrown toenail.


  • Cut your toenails straight across. Don't curve the edges. This helps prevent the corners of the nails from digging into the skin.


  • Trim your nails to the edge of your toe, don't cut them too short. Leaving a little bit of toenail helps to lower the risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


  • Note, if you have diabetes, neuropathy, poor circulation to your feet, or a combination of these three, it is a good idea to have a foot doctor or podiatrist trim your toenails to prevent accidental nicks, which can increase your risk of infection and amputation.



2. Wear the right shoes

The type of shoes you wear can increase or decrease your risk of getting an ingrown toenails. Here are some tips for choosing shoes to help prevent ingrown toenails:


  • Your shoes should never be too tight, especially in the toes or the toebox of the shoe.


  • Pressure coming from your shoe coming down on your toenails over time can increase the risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


prevent ingrown toenails

3. Avoid wearing tight pantyhose

Yes, pantyhose or hosiery that is too tight can cause ingrown toenails, or your toenails to grow in different directions that arent normal. If you decide to wear hosiery, there should be some room at the toe to prevent ingrown nails. The seam should not rub directly on your toes, and pantyhose should never be tight at your toes, especially tight enough at your toes to cause pain.



4. Do not pick at the skin around your toenail

Consistently picking at the skin around your toenail does increase your risk of an ingrown toenail, and for this ingrown nail to become infected. If you find that you are picking your skin a lot, wearing socks while at home, and finding other activities to keep you fingers and hands occupied are good ways to prevent boredom and for the skin picking to begin.




The End

Being able to prevent an ingrown toenail is something that most people are interested in learning in order to avoid the pain that comes with this condition. Trimming your nails straight across, wearing shoes that fit right, and not wearing pantyhose that are too tight are all ways to prevent an ingrown toenail from happening. If after these tips, you still end up developing an ingrown toenail, see your local foot doctor right away. There are both surgical and non surgical treatment options available for ingrown toenails.



Schedule Your Appointment At Direct Podiatry Arizona

Looking for a doctor that does ingrown toenail removal in Phoenix, AZ? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view my available appointment times, click here.


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