What Is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a toenail which has grown into the surrounding skin of your toe. If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you already know how painful it can be.

You are at higher risk of developing ingrown toenails if:

  • Your toenails curve under naturally
  • You’ve had an injury to your toe or toenail
  • You wear shoes that are too narrow for your toes

When you have an ingrown toenail, you will experience:

  • Swelling and pressure around your toenail
  • Bruising and redness around your toenail
  • Throbbing pain around your toenail

Your toenail and the nail bed may also appear dark and you may see pus or blood coming out from underneath your toenail.

You can do a lot to help prevent an ingrown toenail. Remember to:

  • Avoid cutting your toenails too short
  • Trim your toenails straight across, with no rounded corners
  • Always wear protective shoes which are appropriate to the activity you are doing
  • Avoid going barefoot to prevent toe and toenail injuries

When you develop an ingrown toenail, you can try a few simple home remedies like these to get relief:

  • Soak your toe in warm water several times each day
  • Place a small piece of dental floss under your toenail to guide the toenail upward
  • Apply antibiotic cream around your toenail
  • Wrap your toe in bandaging to protect it
  • Wear open toe shoes or sandals to help your toe heal

For stubborn, painful ingrown toenails that don’t respond to home therapies, your podiatrist can help you feel better, with several professional treatments for ingrown toenails. Your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Trimming off a section of your toenail that has grown into the skin
  • Lifting and separating the toenail from the surrounding skin
  • Removing the entire toenail so a new, healthy toenail can grow in its place

An ingrown toenail can make it painful to put on shoes, and it can also affect your ability to stay active. You don’t have to suffer with an ingrown toenail because your podiatrist can help. To find out more about the causes and treatment of ingrown toenails, call your podiatrist today.

Contact Us

New England Foot & Ankle Specialist

607 North Avenue

Door 17, 1st Floor

Wakefield, MA 01880 US

(781) 944-4044