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Causes and Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

There is no mistaking the pain from an ingrown toenail. The big toe is typically affected, and it can be difficult to wear shoes. An ingrown toenail can develop when it grows into the skin instead of over it, and the pain can cause prompt medical attention to be sought. Symptoms that are associated with an ingrown toenail can include severe tenderness, swelling, and the toe may become red. The most common reason to develop this ailment is from wearing shoes that are too tight, followed by trimming the nails incorrectly. Additionally, it may happen from a toe injury, or if the nails are naturally curved. Soaking the affected foot in warm water may temporarily bring mild relief. This often makes it easier to push the nail away from the skin using a piece of cotton. Ingrown toenails can become infected. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition before it becomes more serious. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the foot specialists of Certified Foot Care. 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 Larchmont and Brooklyn, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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