Trim Properly to Avoid Ingrown Toenails
Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Trim Properly to Avoid Ingrown Toenails

Improper toenail trimming is a common culprit behind ingrown toenails, a painful condition that occurs when the nail grows into the surrounding skin. The risk of ingrown toenails increases when toenails are trimmed improperly. This includes when toenails are cut too short, rounded at the corners, or not trimmed straight across. To trim toenails correctly and reduce the likelihood of ingrowth, you should follow a few simple steps. Firstly, soften the nails by soaking the feet in warm water for a few minutes. Using sanitized nail clippers, cut the nails straight across, avoiding curved edges. Ensure that the nails remain slightly longer than the skin at the nail's edge. Digging the clippers into the corners of the nails, or trying to create a rounded shape, will increase your chances of developing ingrown toenails. Adopting these toenail-trimming practices will help you maintain healthy, pain-free feet. If you suspect ingrowth, it is suggested you seek an appointment with a podiatrist, who can help you treat ingrown toenails and provide more prevention tips. 

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.


  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.


Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lakeport and Ukiah, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care