5 Easy Steps You Can Take to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

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​When it comes to keeping those toenails from turning against you, and growing into your skin, taking proactive protective measures is just as important as staying away from classic mistakes. First, check out this video about the mistakes you make that lead to ingrown toenails. Then, check out our top tips for proactively preventing ingrown toenails.

5 Moves Sure to Keep Ingrown Toenails Away This is what an advanced ingrown toenail looks like. Let's work together to avoid this problem!

  1. Cover up those nails. If you know that heavy objects may fall on your feet—either as a result of your job, or the venue where you’re heading, make sure your toenails are taken care of. Protective gear like steel-toed boots exist for a reason. Investing in a quality pair will not only help prevent ingrown toenails, it will also protect you from many other potential injuries. 
     
  2. Really look at your feet.  We give this advice to diabetics, but anyone with feet can follow this same advice. Look at your feet, toes and nails every day. This is the best way to notice (and stave off) potential complications. And, if you’re looking for signs of a developing ingrown toenail, these are the symptoms you should never ignore: Redness, swelling, pus, an inability to see the edge of the nail. 
     
  3. Set it straight. When trimming toenails, cut in a straight line, not in the curved silhouette of your toe. This may leave your nail a little longer in the corners, but that’s ok. And, if you have a hard time nailing the straight edge, or have concerns about blood flow to your feet, consider getting your nails trimmed in our office. 
     
  4. Make frequent, tiny trims. Forget cutting your nails super short, and only taking action every week to week and a half. Instead, make more frequent, little trims to those toenails. What’s the ideal length? Your toe will actually be your guide here: aim to keep nails even with your toe tips. Going any shorter may allow the pressure from your shoes to impact and redirect the direction of your nail growth.
     
  5. Wear shoes that really fit. Shun pointy, toe-pinching shoes in favor of pairs with roomier toe boxes. But don’t go too big—if your shoes slip and slide, the constant impact of shoe against nail could also cause ingrown toenails to develop over time. Got additional foot complications because of diabetes? It may be worth investing in a pair of specialty diabetic shoes to be sure your nails and feet are protected.

Got an Ingrown Nail? These Are your Next Steps

 

If you see any of these symptoms on your feet, chances are that you’ve already developed an ingrown toenail. Now, read this: do NOT attempt to solve this problem at home. Bathroom surgery will only make matters worse, not to mention leaving you vulnerable to other complications. Instead, come into the office right away. Thankfully, ingrown toenails are a foot problem we can treat quickly and with virtually no pain. Assuming, that is, that you haven’t made matters worse by taking treatment efforts into your own hands!

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.