Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of the nail pierces through the surrounding skin. The affected toe can become painful and infected. In many cases ingrown toenails can be prevented.
Cut your toenails straight across and to the length of the edge of the toe. Do not cut your toenails too short. File any sharp edges. Do not dig down the sides of the toenails. Incorrect nail cutting is one of the most common causes of ingrown toenails.
Avoid picking your toenails. This is very common in both children and adults and can lead to sharp nail edges that become ingrown.
Make sure that you wear correctly fitting shoes. Tight shoes or short shoes put pressure on the toes making the nails more prone to become ingrown.
Visit a podiatrist if you think you have an ingrown toenail. They will treat the condition and assess the cause of the problem. In some cases, ingrown toenails may reoccur and surgery to remove the ingrown section permanently may be recommended.