Prevention is—as always—the best form of treatment. Here are some tips to do just that.

Tip No. 1: Wear Shoes That Fit
Pressure and pinching from shoes that are just too small, especially in the toebox area is one of the most common causes of ingrown toenails. This is also a reason why kids tend to get ingrown toenails—if parents aren’t careful, their little ones can easily outgrow their shoes faster than you replace them.

Tip No. 2: Cut Your Toenails Properly
“Who doesn’t know how to cut their own toenails properly!?”, you might think to yourself. Actually? A lot of people. (Maybe even you.) Here are common mistakes people make when trimming their toenails:
• Cut toenails too short
• Leave toenails too long
• Round the corners instead of going straight across
• Use flimsy fingernail clippers, rather than toenail clippers
• Trim nails while they’re still wet, which increases the risk of tearing and splitting

Tip No. 3: Protect Your Feet
Sometimes, ingrown toenails are the result of trauma: dropping a jar on your toenails or stubbing your toe against an inconvenient bed leg. Repetitive overuse activities that put repeated pressure on your nails, over and over again. Runners, Soccer players and dancers are commonly affected.
Wear shoes that fit, but more generally, you should also wear footwear that’s appropriate for your activity. The right pair of work boots at the right time could save you from a frustrating and totally preventable injury.

Tip No. 4: Keep Your Nails Clean
Ingrown toenails and fungal toenails frequently go hand in hand. Usually the ingrown toenail comes first. The nail digs into the skin and separates from the nail bed, fungi get in, and pretty soon you have a yellowish, infected nail.
Fungal infections can warp and alter the shape of a nail, causing it to dig down at the sides.
As a result, keeping your feet and nails clean and preventing fungal infections can also indirectly prevent ingrown toenails, too. Simple tips include:
• Wash your feet every day
• Change socks and shoes when they get damp, and don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row
• Avoid going barefoot in public locations
• Use antifungal powders or sprays on feet or in shoes if you have a history of athlete’s foot or fungal infections

Tip No. 5: Choose Your Salon with Care
Choose a hygienic salon with technicians who have your best nail intentions in mind. A good nail salon should not only take care of the appearance of your nails, but also the health and overall condition of your nails.

Tip No. 6: See a Podiatrist
Sometimes you can do everything right—wear good shoes, protect your nails, clip them correctly, keep them clean—and still wind up with an ingrown toenail.

In fact, for some people, it really comes down to genetics. You will need to see a podiatrist for advice and treatment if you have painful feet, thickened or discoloured toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts and verrucas, scaling or peeling on the soles, or any other foot-related problem.

A podiatrist can also advise you about footwear (take your shoes with you) and check that you're looking after your feet properly. Podiatrists can also help with more complex foot problems, including preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to sports and exercise.