Curved toenails, also called pincer nails, refer to an awkward growth of the toenails into the surrounding skin rather than an outward and upward growth. The toenail exerts so much pressure on the adjacent skin until it grows inward resulting in a situation called ingrown toenail. Curved toenails can be very painful especially in the case of ingrown toenails. Embedment of the nail in the surrounding skin causes pain, redness as well as swelling. It can quickly develop an infection if left untreated.
Symptoms of a curved toenail
- Adjacent skin becomes tender, swollen, and hard
- Collection of fluid around the toe
- Pain under pressure
Signs of an infection
Certain signs point towards possible infection, they include:
- Redness and swelling of the skin
- Consistent pain even without the exertion of pressure
- The infected will feel warmer than other areas
- Constant bleeding
- Thickened skin
Curved toenails are caused by several factors including:
Incorrect cutting or trimming of the nail is unarguably the most popular cause of ingrown toenail. Usually, people cut the toenail by following the curve of the nail. This is not totally bad but could make the edge of the nail curl inwards hence digging into the skin. Cutting across the toenail in a straight line helps to avoid in-growth. While using this method, don’t cut the nail too short.
There are people whose nail beds are too small for their toenails. This results in an uncharacteristic growth of the toenail. The toenail dogs into the surrounding skin causing ingrown toenail.
Trauma is also a key cause of curved toenail. Damages to the toe, such as collision with blunt objects or falling of a heavy object on the toe, can cause an absolute change in the shape of the toenail. This uncharacteristic change in shape could result in an ingrown toenail. A key contributor to why big toe is the one most affected by curved toenail is trauma. More often than not, toenail bears the brunt of most accidents involving the toes.
Tight shoes cause the toenails to be pressed hard against one another. If worn long enough, the pressure exerted on the toenails would cause them to start curling inwards. The big toe is also the most affected since it’s the biggest among the toes. Tight shoes are not just about the length but also the width.
Most people don’t learn to take care of their toenails until issues like curved toenails or toenails fungus arise. Proper care of the toenail is important for the permanent straight growth of the toenails. Keeping sweaty feet or wet feet promotes curved toenails. Wash your feet thoroughly every day and keep it dry.
Iron and zinc are vital for proper nail growth. Hence, diets deficient of these elements could cause toenails to curve upwards. The deficiency of B12 is also believed to contribute to the curving of toenails.
Genetics also plays a key role in the problem of curved toenails. People predisposed to this must be extra careful and pay good attention to proper toenail hygiene.
Treatment of curved toenail
- Soak the feet in warm water, mixed with few spoons of salt, for about 20 minutes 3 times per day.
- Use a cotton ball to push way the adjacent skin from the edges of the toenail. Soak the cotton in olive oil before usage.
- Apply antibiotic ointments around the infected area to avoid the development of infection.
- Use over-the-counter medicines for the pain
Using Curve Correct
Curve Correct is one of the most popular treatment options for curved toenails. Acting as a spring, it gently pulls the edges of the nail up causing it to grow without pressing into the surrounding skin. Curve Correct can correct curved toenail in weeks depending on the degree. Curve Correct permanently cures curved toenail problem and is very safe to use. You can apply Curve Correct at home within five minutes.
Application of Curve Correct
- Prepare your nail: this involves trimming and cleaning. Trim the nail and wash it thoroughly. Use soap and water to wash all contaminants off.
- Pre-fit brace to determine the angle of application
- File toenail to ensure the surface is smooth enough.
- Clean the nail surface with solvent
- Apply adhesive to one end of the brace and place it on the end of the toenail used for pre-fit. Do this quickly before the adhesive cures.
- Check to ensure the brace is the same length as the toenail. Trim if necessary.
- Then add adhesive to the other end of the brace and finally place it on the toenail, holding it down for perfect curing.
Other correction methods includePartial nail removal andTotal nail removal
Note: if you suspect the toenail may be infected, you need to consult a doctor for proper treatment.