Ingrown Toenails

Occurring most often in the big toe, ingrown nails occur when a nail grows into rather than over the surrounding skin. Ingrown nails are a common condition that can become extremely painful and could become infected unless proper treatment is sought.

Ingrown nails are distinguished by pain along the side or sides of the affected nail. This pain increases with the continued wearing of ill-fitting shoes. Often, the pain is so intense that even the slightest pressure can cause extreme discomfort.

When infections signs occur, it's time to consult one of our trusted dermatology providers.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails?

  • Infection signs such as redness, swelling, and the discharge of pus.
  • Pain along the side or sides of the affected nail.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

  • Improper footwear, specifically, cramped shoes with insufficient room in the toes for proper nail growth.
  • Poor nail cutting skills or trauma to the toe which injures the flesh and causes irregular nail growth.


How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Preventing ingrown toenails involves several key steps.
  • Proper Shoes: Wear well-fitting shoes with enough room for toes to prevent constriction.
  • Nail Maintenance: Trim toenails straight across and avoid rounding the edges to discourage ingrowth. Be cautious while cutting nails, avoiding overly short trimming.
  • Good Hygiene: Keep feet clean and dry, practicing good hygiene.
  • Fabric Choice: Choose breathable socks and shoes to promote a healthy foot environment.
  • Seek Professional Care: If an ingrown toenail is suspected, visit one of our providers promptly to prevent complications.
Regular foot inspections and mindful nail care go a long way in preventing ingrown toenails and ensuring comfort and overall foot health,

Ingrown Toenails FAQs

Common symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain and tenderness along the edge of the nail, redness, swelling, and sometimes drainage of pus if the area becomes infected. You may also notice the skin around the nail becoming inflamed.

Mild cases of ingrown toenails can often be treated at home by soaking the foot in warm, soapy water several times a day, gently lifting the edge of the nail, and keeping the area clean and dry. However, if there are signs of infection or if the ingrown toenail persists, it's best to seek medical attention.

You should see a doctor if you experience severe pain, redness, or swelling, if the ingrown toenail is accompanied by signs of infection such as pus or drainage, or if home treatments are not providing relief. A doctor can provide proper treatment and may need to perform a minor procedure to remove the ingrown portion of the nail.

How to Treat Ingrown Toenails

The first step to treating an ingrown nail is to soak it in warm water with salts and to avoid the shoes that caused the condition. In addition, antibacterial ointments may help reduce the risk of infection.
It is always best to follow up with a visit to one of our trusted providers to assess the nail. If necessary, your dermatologist will perform a complete removal of the affected nail.