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Facts About Ingrown Toenails

Having an ingrown toenail is annoying and painful, but it can be preventable. When the side of a toenail becomes engulfed by the skin around it, pressure can build up and cause pain. Typical signs of an ingrown toenail include redness and swelling, pain when touched, or hardened skin next to the nail. If the area gets infected, it may become filled with pus and cause bleeding. Causes of ingrown toenails include tight fitting shoes, toenails cut incorrectly or not at all, and poor foot hygiene. Home prevention techniques include cutting toenails straight across, keeping your feet clean and dried, and wearing shoes that fit properly. Anyone who has diabetes, poor peripheral circulation, or other systemic conditions that affect the feet should seek the care of a podiatrist regularly. In cases of a badly ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist. Possible treatment may call for partial or complete removal of the nail to prevent further complications. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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