How To Get Toenails To Grow Straight: The Complete Guide

A curved toenail is a condition in which the nail grows into the skin rather than going outward. It does not only look bad, but it can also cause a lot of pain.

An ingrown nail causes redness and swelling on your toe and can lead to other problems as well. 

If it is not treated for a long time, it can also result in serious infections. Your skin will become hard around the toe and it may start forming a pus-like fluid.

The good news is that preventing curved toenail growth is pretty easy and simple.

If you are interested in knowing how to get toenails to grow straight, then read ahead.

Causes Of Curved Toenails And How To Get Toenails To Grow Straight


how to get toenails to grow straight

One of the most common reasons for not having straight toenails means that your foot might have gone through some serious damage.

You may have come in contact with a heavy object, which can entirely change the growth of your nail, causing it to grow inward only.

If the impact of the collision is too strong, it can easily affect the direction of nail growth.

This can be common in athletes who go through rigorous training regimes and may end up putting too much pressure on their foot and toes.

For example, a football player may suffer from inward growing toenails since they have to kick the ball with a lot of force with their feet.

Tight Shoes

how to get toenails to grow straight

If you tend to wear tight shoes very often, now is a good time to stop.

Since wearing shoes that are smaller than your actual size can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your toes, your toenails may start growing inwards, which can result in curved toenails.

This is why it’s always a better idea to wear shoes that are your size so your toes do not feel suffocated even when you wear them for long periods of time.

Small Toes

how to get toenails to grow straight

Some people simply have small toes and normal-sized nail growth, which automatically results in an inward toenail growth since the toe is not big enough to take the whole size of the nail.

This may result in ingrown toenails instead of straight toenails.

Incorrect Cutting

how to get toenails to grow straight

Not cutting your nails in the correct manner is another common reason for a curved or ingrown toenail.

Some people cut their nails by following the curve of the toe, which means that when it grows back, it will be curved.

This may be okay in the beginning but after a while, a curved toenail starts digging into your toe.

A good idea is to always cut your nails in a straight line to prevent ingrown toenails. Plus, make sure not to cut them too short; otherwise, they may curve.

Poor Hygiene

how to get toenails to grow straight

If you wear closed shoes for long periods of time, your feet may get sweaty, which can result in curved toes. 

If your feet are dry for too long, it may also trigger inward growth.

This is why it is important to wash and hydrate your feet and cut your nails every couple of weeks.

This will also keep you away from serious infections, which can easily spread if your toes are covered most of the time.



Another common reason for inward growing toenails is genetics.

If you are predisposed to inward growing toenails, it is important to be extra careful since this can cause serious infections.

Inward growth can also cause extreme pain, but getting help will make it better.

How To Treat Curved Toenails

consult a doctor

Before trying to treat your curved or inward toenail growth, make sure they are not seriously infected.

If they are, immediately contact a doctor and get professional help. If they are not, you can simply try these techniques.

Here are a few ways to treat curved nails.

Nail Lifting

how to get toenails to grow straight

You can do this one at home. All you have to do is fill a tub with warm water and soak your feet in it for at least half an hour every day.

Make sure to be consistent or it will not work. The next step is to keep a dental floss or a cotton ball under the ingrown edge by lifting the nail.

This way, the nail will not be in direct contact with your skin, which will give it room to grow freely.

Make sure to remove the dental floss or cotton ball every day after moisturizing your feet with warm water.

If the process of nail lifting is causing severe pain, you can take medication that does not need a prescription.

To prevent infection, make sure to apply an ointment near your toe. If you do this every day, you will start to see changes in a few weeks.

Partial Nail Removal

how to get toenails to grow straight

Another way to treat curved toenails is by completely cutting the edges of your nail.

After you have done this, make sure to treat your toe with phenol, which will stop nail growth.

If you do not apply phenol, your nail will simply grow back every time.

After applying phenol, place the cotton on the remaining toenail so it does not encourage more inward growth.


how to get toenails to grow straight

Besides lifting your nail and removing it, you can start with improving your hygiene.

Make sure to check your toenails every week and use a cleaner to remove dirt from under them.

After you cut your nails, a good idea is to file them, especially if you have a habit of wearing socks.

Properly trimmed nails will not stick to the sock, which can not only tear your sock but also break your nail.

Curved toenails can cause serious damage if they are not treated in time. Follow the different tips mentioned above to prevent curved toenails!

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how to get toenails to grow straight