Tuesday, 01 November 2022 00:00

Why Do Ingrown Toenails Develop?

The big toe is generally affected when an ingrown toenail has developed. It happens when the nail grows into the skin instead of over it, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. Many people can get ingrown toenails from frequently wearing shoes that are too tight, or from trimming the toenails incorrectly. The skin surrounding the affected toenail may become inflamed, and is often red and swollen. Occasionally, there may be new tissue that grows over the toenail, and this is referred to as a granuloma. It may be accompanied by a discharge which can be blood or pus. Additionally, it may emit an odor if bacteria gets into the wound. Temporary relief may be found when the affected nail is soaked in warm water, followed by gently pushing the nail away from the skin using a cotton swab. For more severe infections, surgery may have to be performed that can permanently repair the nail. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, please speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can effectively treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the foot specialists of Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.


  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition


Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Southlake, Keller (Fort Worth), Hurst, North Richland Hills, Flower Mound, and Argyle, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

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