How can I prevent an ingrown toenail?

There are a variety of ways you can prevent an ingrown toenail:

  • Soak the nail in warm water before cutting.
  • Make sure your nail trimmer is clean before you use it.
  • Do not tear the nails.
  • Trim toenails across the top (do not round the corners).
  • Wear shoes that fit correctly (make sure they are not too loose or too tight around the toes).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/08/2017.


  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Ingrown Toenail. Accessed 3/5/2018.
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Ingrown Toenail. Accessed 3/5/2018.

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