How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Let’s keep them toes healthy!

Researched, written by
Updated on December 16, 2022

Woman Inspecting Her Ingrown Toenail

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Taking good care of your feet is crucial. But sometimes, we care for them too much (or not enough) and experience a painful condition – the dreaded ingrown toenail. It turns out, that can be easily avoided.

Many people can take care of their feet themselves, and there are certain things we can do to prevent ingrown toenails. Follow these tips to prevent ingrown toenails or treat them if they’re already a problem.


3 Main Rules To Prevent Ingrown Toenails


There are three essential things you can do daily to minimize your risk of an ingrown toenail:

  1. Keep your nails straight. Avoid rounding them or cutting them too short.
  2. Keep your feet clean and dry at all times.
  3. Check your feet daily for any redness or swelling.

This is the bare minimum you can do on a daily basis to keep your feet and toes tidy, hygienic, and healthy.


How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails With The Right Footwear


What you put on your feet is important, especially if you’re often prone to getting ingrown nails. To avoid an ingrown toenail, make sure you wear the proper footwear:

  1. Choose shoes with a wide toe box.
  2. Avoid any footwear that has you ramming your toe into the shoe. This can result in black toenails and ingrown toenails.
  3. Avoid footwear that makes your feet excessively sweaty. 
  4. Using shoes with pointed toes can increase the risk of an ingrown toenail.


How To Cut Your Toenails To Prevent Ingrown Nails & Infections


If you have a nail that is too long, always cut it straight across. Please don’t cut your nails too short, don’t round the edges or make them uneven in any other way. Use toenail clippers to quickly and effectively trim your toenail straight.

If you don’t leave your nails straight, your risk of getting ingrown toenails rises significantly. It’s also essential to get your nails trimmed regularly.

Here’s an example of the toenails that are clipped in a wrong way that promotes ingrown toenails. You can even see that the toe already has redness – a sign of an ingrown toenail:

Toenail Cut In Bad Shape Example

And here’s an example of correctly cut toenails with a straight edge that prevents ingrown toenail from happening:

Toenails Cut Straight To Prevent Ingrown Toenails


How To Prevent Ingrown Toenails With Epsom Salt


Taking a foot soak in Epsom salt is another way to prevent ingrown toenails or treat toenails that are already slightly ingrown. Use an Epsom salt soak regularly and apply antibacterial cream to your feet and toes.


How To Treat an Ingrown Toenail At Home


If the problem is already there, don’t panic. If the ingrown toenail is not too severe, you can treat it yourself. But, regardless of the cause of ingrown toenails, you should be aware of how to treat them right to prevent the infection from getting worse.

Note: it’s essential to take care of it right away. When treating an ingrown toenail, ensure the infected area is clean and disinfected.

  1. Soak your feet in Epsom salt water for several minutes, and then clip the affected part of the nail to prevent the infection. If you can’t reach the ingrown part, you’re probably doing more harm than good, so you should see a doctor as soon as you can.
  2. To prevent an ingrown toenail from worsening, apply antibiotic cream to the affected area. Using a clean piece of dry cotton under the ingrown toenail can also help to reduce the pressure on the toe.
  3. While your toenail is healing, avoid tight shoes and wear appropriate footwear that protects your toes from excessive pressure, dirt, heat, and sweat.

If you have a more severe case or feel not comfortable with these methods, seek the help of a board-certified podiatrist. An infection may be very painful and require medical attention. With a toenail that shows signs of puss, contact your physician immediately.

Let’s keep them toes healthy! Scroll down for more tips below.

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