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What are my chances of ingrown nails?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ingrown nails are a very common condition. They occur when your nail curves inward and presses into (or punctures) the skin surrounding your nail. Anyone can get them, though they are more common in people who have a family history of them. Experts say you can reduce your chances of developing ingrown nails by doing the following:
  • Trim your nails straight across and not too short. Experts say you should be able to get a fingernail under the end of the nail.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly (not too tight and not too loose).
  • Wear steel-toed shoes if you work in an environment where your feet can be hurt.
  • Visit a podiatrist for nail clipping if you have a condition such as diabetes or nerve damage or poor circulation in your feet, which puts you at greater risk for complications from ingrown nails.

Your chances of ingrown nails are much higher if you wear ill-fitting shoes that squeeze or pinch your toes. Cutting your toenails below the top edge of your toes or trimming them in a rounded fashion rather than straight across can also raise your chances of getting an ingrown nail. Also, if you happen to have naturally profoundly curved toenails, your chances of getting an ingrown nail are higher than if your toenails were straighter.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.