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What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 00:00

When a toenail curves at the sides and grows down into the surrounding skin, an ingrown toenail can form. This causes the toenail to dig deep into the skin resulting in pain, redness, and swelling in the affected area. Common methods that are used to prevent ingrown toenails can include wearing shoes and socks that allow enough room for the toes to move freely, keeping the feet clean and dry, and cutting the toenails straight across but not too short. Ingrown toenails may develop due to trauma, a fungal infection, psoriasis, or pressure that is applied on the nailbed from certain athletic activities. Other risk factors can include diabetes, circulation problems, or numbness in the toes. If you have an ingrown toenail that is persistent or looks infected, visiting a podiatrist can be extremely beneficial for your foot health.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Kennan Runte, DPM of Foothill Podiatry Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.


  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.


Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Grass Valley, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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