Tuesday, 05 April 2022 00:00

Why Do You Get Ingrown Toenails?

An ingrown toenail happens when a toenail grows into its surrounding skin, or the skin grows over the edge of the nail. An ingrown toenail can get red, swollen, and painful. In extreme cases, an infection can develop. This condition usually occurs from trimming toenails in a curved way rather than straight across. They can also result from broken or brittle nails with sharp edges that dig into the skin, shoes that are too snug, one’s posture, gait, or structural problems with the feet (e.g., foot pronation). If you have a condition, such as diabetes, where you might not feel pain or discomfort in your feet, it is important that you examine your feet regularly for issues such as an ingrown toenail. Proper foot and nail care will help prevent ingrown toenails but if you suspect you have one, it is suggested that you consult with a chiropodist who can properly diagnose the situation and make helpful recommendations.

Ingrown toenails may require medical attention. If you have significant pain or notice signs of infection from an ingrown toenail, please consult with one of the specialists from Thornhill Foot Clinic. Our chiropodists 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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