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Understanding Ingrown Nails -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Ingrown Nails?

Proper grooming is the first step in preventing ingrown nails.

Soak the feet first to soften the nails. Always cut the nail straight across using nail clippers, and leave enough nail to cover the toe to protect it. (Do not use scissors, which are difficult to manipulate in the corners of the nail.) Smooth sharp edges with an emery board.

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Wear socks and shoes that fit properly. Women especially need to be aware that tight, pointed, high-heeled shoes and tight stockings can cause ingrown nails by putting pressure on the toes.

Parents should groom young children's nails. An older relative may need help as well because of impaired vision and greater difficulty reaching the feet.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on March 04, 2015

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