Does your mother or father have ingrown toenails? You may be genetically predisposed to the condition, too, due to the shape of your toes and toenails. However, this genetic predisposition does not necessarily mean you will develop ingrown nails -- just that you're more likely to. If you follow these tips, you'll minimize your risk of developing them.
Trim your nails straight across
When you cut your toenails -- which you should do at least every two weeks, if not more often -- make sure you are cutting straight across the nail. Do not try to round off the corners of the nails as this makes ingrown nails more likely. If you struggle to clip your nails straight across with standard toenail clippers, invest in a pair of nail scissors, which make it easier to trim precisely.
Select your shoes carefully
When purchasing shoes, be very sure that you're buying them wide enough and long enough. You don't want your shoes to press on the tops of your toes at all since this can lead to ingrown nails. Keep in mind that lower-end shoe stores often only sell shoes in one width. If your feet are a bit wider, you may need to shop at a higher-end shoe store where they sell C, D, and E-width shoes. Have the associates measure your foot if you're not sure what size you need, and if you're between sizes, always opt for the larger size.
Take care of inflammation immediately
If your toes become swollen and spend a lot of time in that state, you're increasing your risk of ingrown toenails since the inflamed skin my reach up and over your nails. So, if you notice any swelling in your feet or toes for any reason, take care of it promptly. Try soaking your feet in a tub of Epsom salts water, massaging them, or even icing them. Identify what's causing your feet to swell -- whether it be standing in one place too long or wearing ill-fitting shoes -- and take steps to address it.
Spend less time on your feet
When you stand, it puts pressure on the bottom of your toes, which essentially pushes your toenails into your flesh. If it's possible for you to spend less time standing, do so. If you do have to stand, make sure it's on a soft surface rather than a hard floor, as this will put less pressure on your toes.
For more information, contact a business such as Advanced Foot Clinic.