If you’re prone to getting ingrown toenails or have fragile toenails that constantly break, simply trimming them to a specific shape can help. According to Dr. Miguel Cunha, a board-certified podiatric surgeon and founder of Gotham Footcare, and Marcela Correa, a medical pedicurist and owner of Medi Pedi NYC, the best shape for toenails is flat across.
“It’s important to avoid cutting your toenails round or angled to prevent the formation of ingrown nails,” says Cunha. “Once the nails are cut flat and straight across, the edges on either side can be filed down so that the corners are less pointy and slightly beveled to follow the shape of the toe.”
“This shape will allow the nails to grow out straight, which will prevent them from digging into your skin or causing an ingrown nail,” adds Correa.
On that note, length is also important. Though you don’t want to cut your toenails too short, it’s important to cut them regularly. “When your nails are too long, they can become damaged due to micro trauma of the nail, which is caused by the repetitive stress of your nails hitting your shoes with every step,” says Cunha. “It’s one of the main reasons why runners develop bruised toenails,” he adds.