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Ingrown toenails can be a nuisance to deal with, and in extreme cases they can even require surgery to be removed. Fortunately, there are a handful of practical measures you can take to prevent this bothersome condition. Below are 3 simple steps to follow to keep from getting ingrown toenails.

  1. Cut your toenails straight across, not in a curved or rounded shape. This is one of the biggest culprits behind ingrown toenails. Make sure that your toenails are trimmed level across the top, and file off any sharp angles near the sides of the toenail. If you get your toenails done at a salon, be sure that your pedicurist follows these instructions as well. If trimming your own toenails is physically difficult to do, you may need to visit a podiatrist to get your toenails trimmed.
  2.  Maintain a moderate toenail length. Your toenails should be trimmed to be even with the tips of your toes. Many people believe that cutting your toenails as short as possible (i.e., very close to the “quick”) will keep them appropriately shaped, but this can actually put undue pressure on the top of your toenail when you’re wearing shoes. Consequently, your toenail may start to grow down into the tissue instead of in the proper direction.
  3. Wear properly fitting shoes. If you have shoes that don’t give your toes any “wiggle room”, you could inadvertently be putting too much pressure on your toes, which can cause your toenails to grow in an irregular fashion. This will more than likely lead to an ingrown toenail problem. Your shoes should fit well and provide enough room for you to comfortably move your toes around.

While getting rid of an ingrown toenail can be difficult, it is fairly easy to prevent this condition by applying the steps listed above. If you have a more serious condition such as diabetes or poor circulation, be sure to seek professional medical help.