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How To Prevent & Treat Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails happen when the nails on your toes grow in the wrong direction and dig into the surrounding skin. Follow a few easy steps to treat this painful condition, and prevent it from happening again.


  • Step 1: Make sure you have enough room to wiggle all of your toes when wearing shoes. Squeezing into a tight pair can set you up for ingrown toenails and severe foot pain.
  • Step 2: Always clip your toenails straight across and lightly round the edges with a nail file.
  • Step 3: Wash your feet thoroughly each day to keep the area clean and reduce your risk of infection. Scrub all of your toes and moisturize your feet afterward to keep skin healthy and strong.
  • TIP: A shower rinse or bath soak doesn't count; actively scrub your feet to get rid of bacteria.
  • Step 4: If you have an ingrown nail, wash your feet thoroughly. Then, apply baby oil to the area to soften the skin. This will reduce pressure when you wear shoes.
  • Step 5: Avoid giving yourself a pedicure or getting a pedicure at the spa so that your toes can heal. Pedicure tools can aggravate the skin and cut into sore or weak skin around the toenail.
  • Step 6: Apply a generous amount of antibiotic cream around the ingrown at least twice per day to reduce the risk of infection.
  • FACT: People with diabetes or poor circulation have a higher risk of complications from ingrown toenails.

You Will Need

  • Well-fitting shoes
  • A nail trimmer
  • A nail file
  • Soap
  • Lotion
  • Baby oil
  • Antibiotic cream

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