Ingrowing toenails are a pretty common complaint and, on the whole, they’re reasonably easy to deal with.
Of course there are times when they aren’t, and you end up having to see a podiatrist.
Rather than wait until they’re a problem – and suffering with the pain and discomfort – why not work on preventing them in the first place.
Michael Harrison-Blount, expert podiatrist at the University of Salford, has shared his top tips to preventing ingrowing toenails, on behalf of Scholl.
1. Trim them straight across
Don’t curve your nails to match the shape of the front of your toe. Instead, cut them straight across. Always use nail clippers rather than scissors.
2. Keep your toenails at a moderate length
Trim them so they’re even with the tips of your toes. The corners of the nails should be visible above the skin. If you trim your nails too short, the pressure from your shoes may direct a nail to grow into the tissue.
3. Wear shoes that fit properly
Trauma, such as dropping a heavy weight on the toe, or pressure from badly fitting shoes can cause ingrown or thickened nails. Minimise wearing heels or narrow toed shoes that may cause a nail to grow into surrounding tissue and always check your toes have ‘wiggle’ room.
If your work puts you at risk of injuring your toes, wear protective footwear like steel-caps.
4. Maintain good foot hygiene
Moist, sweaty feet are prone to developing ingrown toenails. Keeping feet clean and dry can prevent a curved nail from growing in or developing an infection. Rotate footwear and hosiery to allow each pair to dry out before wearing them again. Choose well-fitting, natural materials that allow your feet to breathe.
5. Know your feet
If you have diabetes, check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails or other foot problems. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet or vulnerable skin and you can’t trim your nails, see a podiatrist to have your nails trimmed.