Ingrown nails may develop for many reasons and some cases are congenital, because the nail is just too large for the toe. They can also be caused by trauma and ill fitting shoes. The most common cause however is improper grooming and trimming of the nail.
Trimming toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes may set the stage for an ingrown toenail. Tapering the corners so that the nail curves with the shape of your toe may encourage your toenail to grow into the skin of your toe.
Many people will have an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives. Using the right technique to cut your toenails can help prevent this. Here are some helpful tips for trimming your nails:
- cut your toenails straight across, leaving them long enough so that the corners lie loosely against the skin at the sides
- don't trim your toenails too short, don't round the edges, and don't try to cut the toenails into a pointy V-shape
- trim your nails using nail scissors, nail clippers or a nail file
- if you have difficulty reaching your feet with your hands or safely using nail scissors, get help from someone you know or seek professional assistance
If you notice abnormal changes on your feet, call us at 203-791-0466 if you would like to have our Podiatrist Dr. Betschart examine your feet.