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How to Fix Toenails That are Curling Upward

Updated April 17, 2017

Toenails may curl upward for several reasons. They may naturally grow that way. Typically nails will curl under if they grow long, but toenails growing upward is not uncommon. Shoes pushing at the tips of toenails will force them to grow up or profuse sweating can also cause toenails to curl. It is important to properly maintain toenails that curl to prevent infections or ingrown nails.

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  1. Soak feet in warm water for ten minutes, pat nails dry completely with a towel. Use a nail cleaner to scrape out dirt and grime from underneath the toenail.

  2. Cut dry toenails straight across without cutting the edges inward. Make little cuts across the nail rather than one large cut. Leave toenails a little long to prevent then from growing inside the skin.

  3. Swipe an emery board across the tip of the nail in one direction to smooth of rough edges that may catch on shoes or socks.

  4. Wear natural fibre socks that absorb sweat better than synthetic fibres. Keep feet clean and dry whenever possible.

  5. Tip

    Use a sharp toenail cutter to avoid cracking or breaking toenails.


    Do not cut wet toenails; wet toenails bend or crack more easily than dry toenails.

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Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Toenail clippers
  • Natural fibre socks
  • Nail cleaner
  • Towel
  • Emery board

About the Author

Errin Reaume started writing in 2005 for publications including college brochures, camera informational websites and vegetarian food blogs. Reaume is pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Florida.

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