How to Cut Your Toenails to Avoid Ingrown Toenails

Chances are you haven’t given your toes much thought today. That is unless you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail. When the edge of a toenail starts growing into the surrounding flesh, you may develop a painful problem that’s hard to ignore.

While some ingrown toenail issues respond to home care, serious cases may need the attention of a specialist. Dr. Errol Gindi and the team at his podiatry practice can help ease your foot pain. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know to avoid an ingrown toenail disaster.

Reasons behind ingrown toenails

Some people have genetic reasons for toenail issues. They're born with a curved toenail, which makes them more susceptible to ingrown conditions. However, for most people, ingrown nails trace back to toe injuries, tight footwear, or toenail trimming issues. Usually, it’s your big toes that develop ingrown nails.

If you’re prone to toe-stubbing, you may already know it’s safer for you to choose closed-toe footwear. With that said, tight socks and shoes that crowd your toes can create pressure that pushes your big toenail into the flesh at the side of your toe. 

Tearing a toenail or trimming it incorrectly leads to many cases of ingrown nails. Toenail care is important if you have a condition that interferes with blood flow in your feet. For example, diabetics must take care since their condition can interfere with blood flow and can cause nerve damage. This means they can be unaware of the pain from an ingrown nail until the infection becomes serious.

How to cut your toenails correctly

The correct way to cut your own nails varies depending on the person. If you prefer opened toed shoes, you might want to trim more regularly. It's important to consider your lifestyle when deciding how often to cut.

Here are a few suggestions that'll help you avoid an ingrown nail.

Use toenail clippers

Trying to trim toenails with clippers designed for fingernails is asking for trouble. Even if your fingernail clippers can handle the thicker nails on your feet, the short radius of the blades is too aggressive for cutting your big toenail. Use the best quality toenail trimmers you can find. Budget clippers will be of no value if they lead to ingrown nails.

Not too short

Cutting your toenails too short means your nails may have to grow past vulnerable flesh. There should be some overhang past the point where your nail attaches, allowing for natural protection of your toes as well as avoiding ingrown nails.

Straight across

Some curve across your toenail is normal, but it shouldn’t be as extreme as the rounding of your toe itself. Aim for a flatter profile across your big toe, using several small cuts instead of trying to trim your big toe with a single clip.

Except for diabetics and others with circulation problems, most people don’t need to see a podiatrist for nail trimming. However, if ingrown toenails are frequently a problem, making an appointment with Dr. Gindi and his team may be a good idea to find out what's causing the condition.

You can contact Dr. Gindi by phone at 516-200-4285 or use the online appointment request tool to schedule a consultation. Put the ingrown toenail cycle behind you today.

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