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Causes and Treatment for Ingrown Toenails

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 00:00

One of the most painful, not to mention annoying, skin irritations is an ingrown toenail. It is simply the result of the nail, commonly on the big toe, growing into the skin that surrounds it. Ingrown toenails can be the result of cutting the nails too short, or, ironically, by letting them grow too long. Nails that are ripped or torn, or nails that are cut into a rounded shape, also can cause ingrown toenails. They cause pain and sometimes redness, especially if the toes are encased in shoes that are too tight in the toe box. Improperly fitting shoes, along with toe injuries, and repetitive activity are among other causes of ingrown toenails. Cutting toenails straight across and soaking the feet in a salt-water bath a few times a day can help to relieve the pain. However if the ingrown toenail pain increases, becomes warm to the touch, or if there is a buildup of pus and an unpleasant odor, it may be infected. This would be a good time to consult with a podiatrist for immediate treatment. 

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 Gregory Rorick, DPM of Rorick Podiatry, PC. 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 New York Mills, Utica, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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