There is a lot of information out there on pincher nails, also spelled pincher, and omega or trumpet nails and most of it is not very clear or unsatisfactory. The most likely reason for these types of nails is genetic.
Pincer Nail Deformity is most likely Genetic
How do I know this? Well, like you, I have a family, and there are 3 people in our family who suffer from this condition in varying degrees. We don’t live with each other or share each others shoes. In fact my sons shoes won’t fit me. My sister has worn sandals for nearly three years and had pedicures and nail treatments so I’m quite sure she does not have fungus as a precursor for this condition. My son is clean and always primping, so I’m quite sure that he is not carrying a fungal infection either. Furthermore, neither of them crammed their feet into too small shoes such as I did. Given this very unscientific information along with everything I have obsessively read on the internet and in medical books, I’m quite sure now, after 50 years that pincer nails are a result of genetic condition of some type.
Now it is possible that as we age we get arthritis or dermatitis of some type and this causes a worsening of this condition. There is also psoriasis in our family, and even a few cases of club feet.
Pincer Nails Get Worse with Aging
The arrival of pincer nails began when I was in my early twenties, as it has with my son, and has persisted and gotten worse as I have aged. If it’s any consultation to anyone, my sister did not get her pincer nails until she was well into her 50′s and it is only on one toe. These toenail problems started out with ingrown nails, and progressively became worse and worse. At one point I had my toenails operated on, in my early 30′s and they removed 1/3 from each side of the largest digit, creating a thinner looking toenail. Still again this condition persisted and eventually it just grew back, thinner and thinner.
What do Pincer Nails Look Like?
Pincer nails are curved downward cutting into the toes like an ingrown nail. Eventually they will become rounded more and more until they meet in the middle forming a perfect circle. Embrace them, there is not much you can do to prevent this.
The most likely treatment for pincer nails is to have the nail removed. This is called a resection or avulsion.