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Why It Is Important to Trim Your Toenails Properly

Tuesday, 04 January 2022 00:00

You may have heard that toenails should be trimmed straight across (as opposed to rounded) and that they should not be too short. Maintaining your toenails in this way will help avoid the toenail from growing into the skin surrounding it, which can lead to an ingrown toenail. Aside from improper toenail trimming, it is believed that wearing shoes that are too narrow in the toe box or are too short—causing your big toe to rub against the tip—can sometimes lead to an ingrown toenail. While an ingrown toenail may not cause any symptoms at first, in time it may become painful, red, swollen, and possibly infected. Pus may even collect under the nail and then drain. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you seek the professional care of a podiatrist as soon as possible while treatment methods are typically more simple.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Steven Sheridan of Ankle & Foot Specialty Clinics. 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 Sandusky, and Lapeer, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
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