How to Avoid Ingrown Toenails


When one or more of your toenails grows into the skin surrounding your toe, the result is often painful and can lead to infection. The usually obvious symptoms will include swelling, pain, tenderness, and redness around the sides of the toenail and extreme pain when you push on the nail or try to put on your shoe. One of the major causes of a toenail growing into your skin is improper cutting technique. Always cut your nails straight across rather than on a curve, and be sure not to cut them too short.

While some people may inherit a tendency to have overly curved nails, most will benefit from these preventative steps to avoid ingrown toenails in the first place:

Cutting technique—This is worth reiterating, since cutting your nails too short and on a curve rather than straight across is the major cause of ingrown toenails.

Properly fitting shoes—Try to avoid shoes that crowd your toes. High heeled shoes are particularly problematic since they also force extra weight behind your toes. Choose shoes with a wide toe box instead.

Avoid toe injuries—Another major cause of ingrown toenails is from traumatic injury to the toe. Be sure to wear protective footwear such as steel toed shoes if your work or other activity puts your toes at risk.

If you are having trouble with an ingrown toenail, we highly recommend that you consult our board certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!