How to Fix Toenails That are Curling Upward

Maintain proper nails by cutting the correct way.
Maintain proper nails by cutting the correct way. (Image: feet image by Mat Hayward from

Toenails may curl upward for several reasons. They may naturally grow that way. Typically nails will curl under if they grow long, but toenails growing upward is not uncommon. Shoes pushing at the tips of toenails will force them to grow up or profuse sweating can also cause toenails to curl. It is important to properly maintain toenails that curl to prevent infections or ingrown nails.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Toenail clippers
  • Natural fiber socks
  • Nail cleaner
  • Towel
  • Emery board

Soak feet in warm water for ten minutes, pat nails dry completely with a towel. Use a nail cleaner to scrape out dirt and grime from underneath the toenail.

Cut dry toenails straight across without cutting the edges inward. Make little cuts across the nail rather than one large cut. Leave toenails a little long to prevent then from growing inside the skin.

Swipe an emery board across the tip of the nail in one direction to smooth of rough edges that may catch on shoes or socks.

Wear natural fiber socks that absorb sweat better than synthetic fibers. Keep feet clean and dry whenever possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a sharp toenail cutter to avoid cracking or breaking toenails.
  • Do not cut wet toenails; wet toenails bend or crack more easily than dry toenails.

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