Is your fingernail growing sideways? There are many things that can make a fingernail grow sideways. Fingernail Growing Sideways are usually caused by improper nail-cutting and filing techniques, congenital diseases, and certain fingernail infections.
Toenails can also grow sideways due to the usage of improper footwear (e.g tight-fitting shoes), which presses the toenail to one side.
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Don’t mistake ingrown nails for fingernails growing sideways…they are different. Ingrown nails are those nails (fingernail or toenail) growing inwards into your skin and can cause severe pain.
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How To Stop Fingernail Growing Sideways
To best stop fingernail growing sideways, follow these simple guidelines. They also apply to toenails growing sideways. They include:
- Keep nails trimmed short.
- Cut nails so they are straight, rather than curved at the edges.
- Wear shoes that fit and have enough room in the toe box.
- wear cotton socks that absorb moisture.
- change socks regularly.
- wear gloves when handling chemicals
Understanding Why a Nail Grows Sideways
The whiter lunate-shaped nail cuticle is commonly seen at the visible end of the germinal matrix, but typical anatomical and age-related developmental differences mean the cuticle is not always visible.
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When the germinal matrix is injured or compromised as a result of an accident or sickness, one side of the cell can grow more quickly than the other. When this happens, the nail will bend laterally towards the side of the germinal matrix that is damaged. This alone can result in an ingrown nail, a crooked nail, a nail growing sideways, and a severe infection.
It’s a deformity that usually resolves on its own, so the only therapy is to keep that nail cut short.
If the aberrant growth is severe, more drastic measures are taken. This may mean completely removing the nail in an attempt to “reset” the growth process, or it may include intentionally injuring the healthier side, which might exacerbate the situation.
If the condition is severe enough to obstruct health and function, the entire nail and germinal matrix may be removed, thus removing the nail from that digit for good.
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The direction of a fingernail growing sideways can’t necessarily be stopped, but you can still trim it and watch out for when it does start growing sideways. You can also visit your doctor, and they could give you better advice too.
I strongly advise you to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who should be able to assist you with your problem. This podiatrist will be able to provide you with the best advice or recommend you to someone who best treats fingernails growing sideways.