Sometimes people get ingrown toenails because they are careless and don’t trim their nail properly. You don’t always need a professional health provider to to take care of your toes and the way to avoid a doctor’s visit is to clip your nails the right way so that there are no future risks. People with diabetes of course are the exception because they always need to see a podiatrist for their foot problems.

Trimming your toenails properly will help avoid ingrown toenails and also the risk of infection. Nails that cut into your toes can shoot severe pain through the foot and send more people to podiatrists than any other foot problem. There are videos on YouTube that show people trying to fix it themselves by inserting knives or even screwdrivers into an already infected foot due to ingrown toenails. Needless to say, this is definitely not the way to do things and can cause even more severe problems down the road.

Here are some tips on how to trim your nails the correct way:

  • Instead of cutting your nails in an arch, cut straight across so that there’s no chance the corner of the nail can grow sideways and into the flesh. Avoid curves.
  • Leave the nails a little longer than normal because short nails are the primary cause for ingrown toenails.
  • If you feel that your shoes are too tight, or too narrow (for your wide feet), then short nails are likely to grow sideways and cut into your skin. Buy shoes that are custom or made for wide feet so that the toes aren’t squeezed together abnormally.
  • Wait till your nails are dry after showering before trimming them. Nails are softer when wet and it’s possible that they’ll tear or bend. You need to have a smooth cut, with a straight line.
  • Avoid the large toenail clippers, because you’ll want to cut off the nail in one click, which is a mistake. Try cutting your nails with a number of smaller cuts.
  • Some people like to file their nails instead of cutting them – if that’s you, instead of going back and forth with the file, try going only in one direction until you get the right cut. Remember not to file the nails too short.
  • If you do get an ingrown toenail, don’t wait. If it’s early enough and the nail hasn’t grown large enough to be lodged inside your toe, then sometimes you can just gently pull outward on the flesh until it comes out. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t go sideways into the skin again, and when it’s long enough to cut safely, use the clippers. Remember that the best method is to keep them a little long and not cut in an arch – cut straight across.
  • And if you have children who are always getting ingrown toenails, supervise their toenail clipping and make sure they’re doing it correctly.

As always, when in doubt, consult a professional and do not perform risky operations on your own foot!

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