Toenails can grow into the tender skin at the edge of your toe and cause swelling, redness, and oozing from infection. While some people have naturally curved toenails that are more likely to grow inward, a more common cause is an improper cutting technique. Many instances of painful ingrown toenails can be prevented with some simple advice.

These tips may help you avoid getting ingrown toenails:

  • Trim your toenails correctly—Always trim your toenails as straight across as possible. Following the curve too much on the sides can cause toenails to grow into the adjacent skin. By keeping your toenails the same or slightly shorter than the length of your toes, you can prevent the toenails from growing into the skin.
  • Wear shoes that fit right—Wear shoes with a wide toe box to prevent pushing your toes together. Avoid footwear like high heels that crowds your toes together. High heels cause many foot and ankle problems and should be worn only occasionally.
  • Inspect your feet—Performing weekly foot inspections (daily if you have diabetes) is an excellent way to catch foot and ankle issues before they progress. Catching an ingrown toenail early can avoid major pain in the future.

Severe ingrown toenails may need to be surgically modified or removed. This procedure can be accomplished in the doctor’s office and with a minimal recovery process.

If you need help treating ingrown toenails, see your foot doctor for an evaluation. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas), is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries, and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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