Ingrown Toenail Prevention


Ingrown toenails can quickly become a very painful and debilitating injury and may lead to possible infection if left untreated. Ingrown toenails frequently get started from a toenail that was cut too short or on a curve, which lets the edge of the nail grow underneath the skin instead of across the top or along the edge. High heeled shoes and other tight-fitting footwear can contribute to the occurrence of ingrown toenails by pushing the toes together and adding pressure to the toenails.

Curved toenails have a hereditary component so some people are just more susceptible to developing ingrown toenails than others.

By following these guidelines, you can prevent ingrown toenails from occurring:

  • Proper toenail cutting - Don’t round your toenails at the corners and always cut them straight across and not too short so the nail can’t get under your skin.
  • Proper footwear - Your footwear needs to provide proper support and comfort while allowing room in the toe box for your toes to move. There should be a good quarter inch of room in front of your longest toe to help prevent rubbing and pressure that may cause nails to grow inward.
  • Daily foot exams - Detecting an ingrown toenail early can help prevent more serious complications such as a bacterial or fungal toenail infection.

If you are experiencing ingrown toenail problems, see your foot care specialist before they become more severe. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.