Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is the best way to trim your toenails?"
The question is posed to avoid ingrown toenails.
Ingrown toenails occur when the lateral part of the toenail (normally the great toe) grows into the flesh of the toe. This can cause pain, inflammation and my become infected. If you're experiencing this, you should definitely see a primary care doctor or podiatrist right away. Prevention is key and can normally be achieved with the twofold approach of proper grooming and well-fitting shoes. Proper grooming consists of trimming the nails straight across after they have cleared the fleshy aspects of the toe. To put it simply, do not cut your nails too short and do not cut them with a curving angle. tight fitting shoes should also be avoided as the compression of the front of the shoe can predispose to ingrown nails. If you feel you have an ingrown toenail, soaking it several times a day with soapy water or epsom salts while gently trying to 'free' the entrapped end of the nail can be effective. If this does not work, or if the area becomes increasingly red and swollen with purulent discharge (pus) you should be seen by a physician for further evaluation and possible removal of the entrapped portion of nail. If, despite the aforementioned preventative steps, you continue to have recurrent ingrown toenails, you made need a minor surgery to permanently remove a small portion of your nail. Hope this helps!
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