5 Ways to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

podiatrist Ingrown toenails can be very painful and make it difficult for you to walk or run. They happen when the corner or side of the toenail grows into the soft flesh, usually on the big toe. Some ingrown toenails can be treated at home, while others may require the help of a foot specialist in Conroe, TX. However, there are some things you can do to avoid the pain and hassle of ingrown toenails. Here are some tips for preventing ingrown toenails in the first place.


Cut Toenails Straight

Many people are tempted to cut their toenails to match the shape of the toe, so they often cut the toenail in a curved line. Unfortunately, this is one of the major causes of ingrown toenails because it's easier for the toenail to grow into the toe instead of straight out. Cut toenails straight across using clippers that are meant for toes to make it less likely that the nail will split.


Think about Length

When you're cutting your toenails, it's also important to think about how short you're cutting them. The shorter the nails are, the more likely they are to become ingrown. That's because shorter nails are more likely to be pressured by the shoe to grow into the toe. The nails should be even with the ends of the toes.


Proper Cuticle Care

Cutting your nails' cuticles can also lead to more frequent ingrown toenails. It's best to push the cuticles back because intact cuticles help protect the nails from bacteria or fungus that can cause different infections, including infected ingrown toenails.


Practice Good Hygiene

Some people have sweatier feet than others, so if you fall into this category, be sure to give your feet a chance to dry out and to clean them often to prevent infection. If possible, avoid wearing tight socks for long periods of time.


Wear the Right Shoes

Another tip your podiatrist in Conroe, TX, will tell you to help avoid ingrown toenails is to wear the right shoes. You don't want your toes to be squished in the toe box so that the big toe is pushed inward. Too much pressure on the toes causes the toenail to grow into the skin of the toe.