What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

doctor examines ingrown toenails on female patient

If you’ve ever suffered from an ingrown toenail, you know how painful it is. Ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the edge of the toenail grows into the skin of your toe. You can also get them when the skin on the side of your toe grows over the toenail.

Fingernails and toenails can be affected, but your big toe is the most likely place to get one.

On average, it takes one to two weeks for an ingrown toenail to grow out. Be patient. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that people avoid digging out or clipping an already ingrown nail.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain, swelling, and redness along the side of your toenail. There may also be drainage or pus if you have developed an infection at the site. If you suffer from poor circulation in your legs and feet, you should have your nails clipped regularly by a podiatrist.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

  • Abnormally shaped or curved toenails.
  • An injury that pushes the toenail into the skin.
  • Ill-fitting shoes that push the curved toenail into the skin.
  • Trauma to the toenail causing abnormal growth.
  • Cutting your toenails too short or digging into the sides of them.
  • Thickened toenails.
  • Familial. It is common to see ingrown toenails in related family members.

Relieve Your Ingrown Toenail Pain

  • Don’t trim your toenails too short.
  • Refrain from digging down into the side of your toenails.
  • Trim your toenails relatively straight across.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly and have ample toe space.
  • Try ingrown toenail pain relief products that help soften the nail for easier trimming.

Generally, you can take care of your ingrown toenail at home, but if you’re experiencing pain severe enough to impact your daily activities or the pain spreads to other parts of your body, consult with one of the podiatrists at Aboite Podiatry. We’re ready and happy to help you with your ingrown toenails or any other issues with your feet!