Tuesday, 15 February 2022 00:00

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the outer edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. This typically occurs on the big toe and can cause pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area. Ingrown toenails can be caused by wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes, shoes with pointed toes, and shoes with high heels, which can compress the toes and force the toenails to curve into the skin. Trimming the toenails improperly can also cause them to grow into the skin. Toenails should be trimmed straight across, without rounding the edges of the nail. Injury to the toenail, fungal infections, taking certain medications, and having an irregular nail shape can also lead to ingrown toenails. If you suffer from painful ingrown toenails or are prone to them, it is recommended that you seek the care of a chiropodist.

Ingrown toenails may require medical attention. If you have significant pain or notice signs of infection from an ingrown toenail, please consult with Paul A. Scotti, D.Ch from West Toronto Foot & Ankle Clinic Inc. . Our chiropodist will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment. 

What Is an Ingrown Toenail? 

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of a toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The toenails of the big toe are usually affected, however, an ingrown toenail can happen on any toe. Sometimes, the area can become infected leading to potentially serious complications. The ingrown toenail may be caused by improper trimming of the toenail, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or injury to the nail.


The symptoms of an ingrown toenail include: 

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Warmth

  • Pus or drainage from the affected nail or a fever may indicate an infection of the area. 


Treatment depends on the severity of the ingrown toenail. In less severe cases, home treatment may be adequate. Soaking the affected foot in warm water and gently lifting the nail from the skin with a piece of clean cotton can help. In more severe cases, you may need to use topical or oral antibiotics to treat an infection. Surgical removal of the ingrown toenail may be required if more conservative treatments fail. 

Ingrown toenails may be prevented by wearing well-fitted shoes and properly trimming the toenails. Toenails should be trimmed straight across and not too short when using nail clippers. 

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

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