Monday, 14 December 2020 00:00

How Should I Trim My Toenails to Prevent Ingrown Nails?

Ingrown toenails are a potentially painful condition in which the corner of a toenail, typically the nail on the big toe, grows into the surrounding skin instead of over it. This can cause pain, swelling, and redness. In more severe cases, the area may become infected. Risk factors for developing ingrown toenails include repetitive injury to the toe or nail, wearing shoes that are too tight and restrictive, and improperly trimming the toenails. To reduce the risk of getting an ingrown toenail, it is important to trim the toenails straight across using toenail clippers. The corners of the nail should not be rounded off, and the edge of the nail should still be long enough to hang past the point where your toenail attaches to the toe. If you are prone to developing ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist, who can treat this condition and help you prevent ingrown toenails in the future.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. John R. Northrup of Superior Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.


  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition


Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in St. Augustine, Palm Coast, and Palatka, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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