Ingrown Toenails: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention


Ingrown toenails, a prevalent affliction of the feet, bring not only discomfort but also heightened susceptibility to infections. This condition arises from the unusual proliferation of the toenail’s sides and corners into the tender flesh, resulting in swelling and redness around the affected area. Although frequently encountered, these ingrown toenails can prove to be a painful ordeal. Thankfully, many cases can be effectively managed with simple home remedies. However, caution is warranted if your ingrown toenail becomes infected, especially if you have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. In such instances, it is imperative to seek the expertise of a podiatrist, a specialist well-versed in foot-related matters, for proper treatment and care.

Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center team offers quick and easy removal of ingrown parts of your toenails and aids in providing preventing measures for chronic ingrown toenails from recurring.

Ingrown toenails- Overview

Ingrown toenails are painful foot conditions that are characterized by an abnormal protrusion or growth of the sides or corners of your toenails into the adjacent soft tissues instead of growing straight out. The big toe is typically affected, either on one side or both.

Symptoms of ingrown toenails include:

  • Hard, and swollen toenail
  • Severe pain due to inflamed skin
  • Redness, soreness, and bleeding skin
  • Infection with white or yellow pus discharge
  • Difficult for you to stand or walk
  • Difficulty wearing full-coverage footwear

Potential causes of ingrown toenails

Significant causes for ingrown toenails include:

  • Possible hereditary condition
  • Congenital (present from birth) – if your nail is too large for your toe.
  • Cutting your toenails too short.
  • Rounding your nail edges.
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes or tight hosiery which press against your toenail.
  • Injury to your toe due to jamming it against a hard surface.
  • Poor posture or physical activity (ballet, soccer, or running)

Effective treatment for ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenail situations that are mild can be handled at home; cases that are severe call for medical attention.

Home remedies

  • Soak your leg in warm water, or diluted with apple cider vinegar
  • Wear comfortable shoes and socks

Medical care

  • Take an over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller
  • Use oral antibiotics as prescribed by your podiatrist
  • Partial nail avulsion: Your doctor removes a portion of your toenail
  • Complete nail avulsion: Your doctor may remove your entire toenail
  • Matrixectomy: This procedure involves the removal of the underlying soft tissue nail bed along with the toenail

Prevention is always better than cure!

To help prevent an ingrown toenail:

  • Wear shoes that fit properly to relieve excess pressure from the toenail
  • Keep your toenails at a moderate length
  • Trim your toenails straight across your toe, do not round or curve your toenails.


An ingrown toenail is a common foot condition that can lead to severe infection and progress rapidly. For accurate assessment, early discovery, and rapid treatment of ingrown toenails, speak with a healthcare expert.

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