Are you looking for a way to straighten your toenails? Wondering how to get toenails to grow straight?
If so, you need to understand the causes of curved toenails, why this can be an issue, and what you can do to address the problem.
There are a few simple tips you can try – and a few basic foot care routines that can keep your nails in better shape.
Take a look at the important tips below, and see which are suitable for you:
- The Top Causes of Curved Toenails
- Why Are Curved Toenails an Issue?
- How To Straighten Curved Toenails
The Top Causes of Curved Toenails
There are several possible reasons why your toenails might be curved. Some of the most common causes include:
Your Shoes Are Far Too Small
One of the most common reasons why your toenails might be curved is that your shoes are too small.
You want your shoes to be relatively tight around your foot. If your shoes are too big, you may develop blisters because of the rubbing between your shoes and the surface of your skin.
On the other hand, if your shoes are too tight, you might feel your toes bumping up against the front of your shoe. When this happens, this places a lot of pressure on your toenails, causing them to curve.
If you want to address this issue, make sure your shoes fit your feet properly.
Genetics Play a Role
There are also some people who are genetically predisposed to having curved toenails.
If you have a lot of people with curved toenails in your family, there is a chance you will develop this problem as well. You need to keep a close eye on your toenails to make sure they do not curve to the point of predisposing you to infections.
You Don’t Cut Your Toenails Often Enough
Another possible reason why your toenails might be curving is that you do not cut your toenails often enough.
Even if your shoes fit properly, your toenails will eventually hit the front of your shoe if you do not cut them regularly.
Furthermore, even socks that fit tight can start to curl your toenails if you allow them to grow too long. Even though they do not grow as quickly as your fingernails, you still need to cut them regularly. If you wait too long before cutting your toenails, they could start to curve at the edges.
This will only make them harder to cut in the future.
You Don’t Cut Your Toenails Properly
Next, your toenails might be curved because you don’t cut them properly.
A lot of people instinctually cut their toenails by following the curve of the toe. Even though it might look weird to cut your toenails straight across, this is actually the best way to cut them.
If you cut your toenails by following the curve of your toe, you could cause your toenail to grow back curved.
If you cut along the side of the toenail near the cuticle, you could predispose yourself to an ingrown toenail.
This could lead to an infection, which is a complication you defiantly want to avoid!
To stay away from this issue, make sure you cut your toenails straight across.
See our guide: the best toenail clippers.
A Traumatic Accident
Finally, your toenails might also be curved because of a traumatic accident.
If you stub your toe, your toenail might be curved. For example, you might kick the corner of your bed. Or, you might kick the corner of your coffee table.
If you play contact sports, such as soccer, you could strike your foot against another player or a piece of equipment. When this happens, you could curve your toenail, making you vulnerable to complications.
It’s always a good idea to see a specialist if your curved toenail is the result of a traumatic accident. They will be able to assess how much damage has been caused – and the best way forward.
Why Are Curved Toenails an Issue?
If your toenails are curving, there are a few complications that could develop.
One of the biggest dangers of having curved toenails is that it could predispose you to ingrown toenails.
If your toenails curve, they will eventually grow back into the skin next to the nailbed.
When your toenails break the surface of the skin, they create a portal for infection. Because you have a lot of bacteria that live on your skin naturally, this could lead to nail fungus or a cuticle infection.
Then, this infection could spread to other areas of the body. To prevent this from happening, you should cut your toenails properly and keep your eyes open for ingrown toenails.
Furthermore, if you have long, curved toenails, this could make it more likely for you to break your nail if you whack your foot on something.
For example, stubbing your toe could cause you to break your toenail, cracking your toenail halfway down the nail bed. This can lead to blood underneath the surface of the nail, a serious bruise, and a significant amount of pain. This is something you can avoid as long as you cut your toenails regularly and prevent curved toenails from happening.
If you would like to straighten your curved toenails, what are the best options available?
How To Straighten Curved Toenails
If you would like to straighten curved toenails, there are a few options available.
Some of the top treatment options include:
Use Warm Water
Before you try any of the other options below, you need to soften the nail and the bed around it. The way to do this is to use warm water and salt. If you try to correct your toenail before you soak it and water, it is not going to be as flexible or pliable. Essentially, you should soak your feet using water and salt for approximately 30 minutes.
Then, you can try some of the other treatment options below.
Dental Floss and a Cotton Ball
You may also want to use dental floss and a cotton ball to lift the edge of the toenail.
Essentially, the goal is to take the curved part of the toenail and list it away from the skin around the toe. That way, you can reduce your chances of having an ingrown toenail.
You need to make sure the nail is not in direct contact with the surface of the skin. That way, it has room to grow freely. You should remove the dental floss and cotton ball after you moisturize your feet with warm water.
If lifting a curved toenail is irritating for you, you may want to use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
Cut Your Toenail and Use Phenol
You may also want to cut the edges of your toenail. That way, you don’t have to worry about the toenail growing into the edges of your skin.
After you do this, you can use phenol to prevent your toenail from growing back around the edges. Otherwise, the toenail is simply going to grow back into the edge of your skin. You should also place cotton around the portion of the toenail you have left.
That way, you can encourage the toenail to grow up instead of out.
It’s usually best to have this procedure carried out by a professional as part of a partial nail removal.
Use a Toenail Brace
You may also want to use a toenail brace.
A brace is a non-surgical option that can help you treat curved toenails at home. Essentially, you will use a brace to redirect the direction of the nail growth. By doing this you don’t have to worry about your toenails growing into the sides of your skin.
Essentially, the brace is going to work like a spring. It is designed to remove pressure from the nail bed and the skin around it. You will elevate the toenail away from the skin while encouraging the remainder of the toenail to grow forward.
These braces come in all shapes and sizes, so you need to find the right one for the size of your toe.
If you are having a difficult time getting your toenail to fit in the brace, you may want to file down some of the rough edges. You want to make sure there is a minimal gap underneath the bridge. Once you know you have a strong fit, the brace will do its job.
Finally, if you have gone through all of these steps and you still have not fixed your toenails, you might want to reach out to a doctor who can help you.
Here’s a useful video on using a toenail brace:
Reach Out to a Professional To Learn More
These are a few of the most common reasons why people suffer from curved toenails.
If this is bothering you, there are several treatment options available.
You may want to try a few of the ‘natural’ corrective measures above.
If you need more help learning how to get toenails to grow straight, you might want to reach out to a professional who can assist you.
They can develop a treatment plan that has been customized to meet your needs.