Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail to Develop?

Ingrown toenails, a common foot woe, occur when the edges or corners of the nails grow into the surrounding skin, leading to pain, redness, and swelling. This condition, medically known as onychocryptosis, typically affects the big toe and can be triggered by various factors. Improper nail trimming, where the nails are cut too short or not straight across, is a primary cause, as it encourages the toenail to dig into the skin during growth. Wearing ill-fitting shoes, particularly those that squeeze the toes, can also contribute by exerting pressure on the toenails. Trauma or injury to the toe, such as stubbing or dropping something on it, may lead to ingrown toenails. Furthermore, genetic predisposition, poor foot hygiene, and conditions like fungal infections can heighten the risk. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer treatment methods.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Daniel Bell, DPM of Florida. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.


  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition


Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

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