Can I get ingrown nails from not cutting my nails often enough?

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There are a lot of people in my Houston podiatry practice who philosophize as to why they get ingrown toenails.  One is not cutting their toenails often enough.  This generally is not a cause for ingrown toenails.  Depending on the shape of the toenail, however, how frequently you trim your toenails can play a role in how comfortable the toenails are.  

Some people have particularly curved toenails.  When left untrimmed, there is pressure from the top of sides of the shoe that presses the toenail into the skin, causing discomfort, inflammation, and infection.  Others have a toenail that folds over the end of the toe. As the toenail grows, the nail can grow into the end of the toe, again becoming painful and inflamed.  In these cases, keeping the toenail trimmed regularly will be helpful in preventing a toenail from becoming ingrown.

 

It is beneficial for everyone to maintain their feet and toenails regularly. Long toenails can catch on shoes and socks, causing them to tear away.  This is a very painful, and often bloody, situation. Trauma of this type can lead to infection, fungus infection, and permanent deformity of the toenail.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.