Ingrown toenails can be painful and frustrating. And if you find yourself dealing with them frequently, the way you cut your toenails could be partly to blame.
The good news? With proper toenail care, you can reduce your risk of painful ingrown nails.
Lisa Burson, DPM, Joe Aoun, DPM, and our team at The Foot & Ankle Specialists offer professional care for ingrown toenails, from teaching you how to cut your toenails to treating ingrown nails. Read on to get insider tips that can help you maintain healthy and pain-free toenails.
1. Start with clean feet
Before you cut your toenails, make sure your feet are clean. Wash your feet, or soak them in warm water for a few minutes.
After washing, pat your feet dry with a clean towel. Cleaning your feet before trimming your nails also helps reduce any bacteria or fungi that might be present.
2. Choose the right tools
When it comes to preventing ingrown nails, using the correct tools is crucial. Always use sharp, straight-edge toenail clippers or nail scissors specifically designed for cutting nails.
Avoid using dull clippers or other types of scissors, because they can cause nail splitting or damage. Make sure your tools are clean before each use to minimize your risk of infection.
3. Trim nails straight across
Always cut your toenails straight across. Trimming straight across allows your nails to grow evenly and reduces the likelihood of ingrown toenails.
Avoid rounding the corners or cutting them too short, because this can make it more likely that your nails grow into the surrounding skin. If you prefer a more rounded shape, gently file the corners after cutting to avoid sharp edges.
4. Don't cut too close to the skin
It can be tempting to cut your toenails as short as possible, but it's important to leave a little extra nail behind. Cutting your nails too short can lead to painful ingrown toenails.
Instead, aim to leave a thin white line of nail above your skin. This ensures that the nails have enough room to grow without digging into nearby skin. Be patient, and trim your nails regularly to maintain the ideal length.
5. Check for signs of ingrown toenails
Along with regular trimming, inspect your toenails for signs of ingrown toenails. Look for redness, swelling, or tenderness around the edges of your nails.
If you notice any of these symptoms, give our team a call. Early intervention helps prevent the condition from getting worse, and it’s the best way to alleviate discomfort.
We can diagnose your condition and develop an appropriate treatment. Once we treat your ingrown nail, we can work with you to care for your nails and prevent ingrown toenails in the future.
By following these simple steps and maintaining good foot hygiene, you can reduce the risk of painful ingrown nails. Get more information about preventing and treating ingrown nails with an appointment at The Foot & Ankle Specialists. Call one of our offices in Bay City, Caro, and Lapeer, Michigan, or request an appointment online now.