In this article, we aim to answer the question of “how to get toenails to grow straight”. Instead of growing straight and outward, toenails can grow in rather awkward positions such as bending inwards. The bending of toenails is what is called curved toenails. As it continues to exert pressure on the surrounding skin, a case called ingrown nails emerges. Curved toenails can be a very painful experience. If your toenail is going this path, stay calm, there are basic things you can do to correct the situation. Firstly, let’s look at some of the causes of this uncharacteristic growth of nails.
Incorrect cutting of the nail
Each time I discuss this point, I cannot but mention how deep my grandmother used to cut her toenails. Sometimes, she would cut it so short that one would wonder if the nail would ever grow again. Many people do this same thing. While it is good to trim your toenails, cutting them too short may cause curved nails problems. As the nails begin to grow, they may start digging into the toe. Also, if you trim your mails by following the curve, you are encouraging the edges to grow into the adjacent skin. Cut your toenails short but not too short and ensure they are cut across.
Tight shoes cause your toes to be cramped together to make up for the insufficient space. This puts pressure on the toenail which in turn exerts pressure on the surrounding skin hence digging into it.
Typically, toe trauma is in three categories – hitting the toe against blunt objects, falling of heavy objects on the toe, and constant involvement in sports that involve extensive use of the feet such as football. All of these categories force the toe into awkward positions hence forcing the toenail to bend inwards.
Having consistently wet feet increases the chance of having ingrown toenails and too dry toes can also cause curved toenails. Therefore, you must ensure your toes are not always wet or too dry. Keep your nails clean and well-trimmed.
This is a major cause of curved toenails in many people. The nails of some people naturally grow awkwardly. If this applies to you, you must pay particular attention to proper toe care and prevention of ever having a serious fungal infection.
Other causes include diet and small toes.
How To Get Toenails To Grow Straight
Toenails are composed of a flexible protein called keratin. This protein is renewed about twice each year, a factor that makes the correction of the shape of nails possible. There are several things you can do to ensure your toenails don’t grow into your skin but rather maintain straight growth. They include:
This procedure for getting toenails to grow straight and outward can be effectively done at home. It involves putting a cotton ball or dental floss underneath the nail to lift it off the skin. The steps are as follows:
Soak feet in warm water: this is the first step. The purpose is to soften the nails and the surrounding skin well enough to ease the pain. Do this consistently for at least 30 minutes per day. You can also add a few spoons of salt to the water for even softer nails and skin.
Put dental floss or a cotton ball below the nail: when the pain has been significantly alleviated, lift the toenail and slide in a cotton ball or a dental floss beneath it.
Use antibiotic ointment: curved toenail can quickly develop an infection hence it is important to apply antibiotic ointment around the toe.
How To Get Toenails To Grow Straight Using Curve Correct
Need to know how to get your toenails to grow straight? There are effective products that you can use for this procedure e.g. Curve Correct. Curve Correct is a flexible composite strip brace that works like a spring. It gently lifts each side of the toenail to ensure it does not grow into the surrounding skin. Curve Correct is easy to apply and can be done in about five minutes.
How to apply Curve Correct
Before applying Curve Correct for the straight growth of your toenails, there is a need to prepare the nail. A well-prepared toenail will enhance the effectiveness of Curve Correct in straightening your toenail.
Soaking: just like stated above, soak the toenail or the affected foot in a combination of warm water and salt for about 30 minutes to soften the nail for trimming.
Trimming: the very first thing you need to do is to trim your nail. Trim the edges as much as possible; it should be less painful if the nail or foot has been soaked long enough.
Cleaning: after proper trimming, you need to wash the toenail thoroughly. this is to get rid of all contaminants that could compromise the treatment of the curved toenail. the contaminants include blood, adhesive, pus, nail polish, etc. Use soap and water for the cleaning, for folds in the toenail, use a brush to flush out contaminants.
Sequel to the nail preparation, follow the steps below to easily and effectively apply Curve Correct:
Fitting the toenail requires the use of an adhesive which does not give room for mistakes. Therefore, to predetermine the angle that will fit perfectly, pre-fit the brace on the affected toenail. place the first end of the curve correct brace on the most affected side of the toenail. ensure the brace lays flat on the toenail; the curve observed on this side of the toenail is the angle need for the brace application.
File your toenail, especially the area where the brace will be applied, very well. file ridges and spots very well to eliminate or minimize any gap under the brace.
After filing, clean the toenail with solvent and allow it to dry.
Adhesive application and first end bonding
Apply adhesive to one end of the brace; as wide and thick as the brace itself. The adhesive should not be applied directly on the toenail neither should it touch any other part of your body. Place the end layered with adhesive at the end of the toenail pre-fitted. Do this as quickly as possible before the adhesive cures. Hold for about 30 seconds then leave to dry for about 2 minutes.
Shaping and second bonding
Shape the brace to the same length as the toenail. then apply adhesive to the other end of the brace and apply as done above. Press it down with a hand for about a minute for perfect curing. Finally, file any side that shoots out.
Partial nail removal
Besides nail lifting, you can also get your toenails to grow straight by partially removing the edges. Once this is done, phenol will be applied to the removed areas to ensure growth is stopped. The remaining toenail should be treated with cotton to discourage inward growth.
Nail lifting and nail removal can only work permanently if you maintain proper toe hygiene. Clean underneath your toenails every week and file your nails after cutting them. Consider all the causes of curved toenails above and stay away from them as much as possible then your toenails will grow straight.