Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Causes and Definition of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, a common ailment, occur when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, leading to discomfort and potential complications. The causes often stem from improper nail trimming, tight footwear, or inherited nail shape, creating an environment conducive to ingrowth. The condition typically manifests as redness, swelling, and pain along the nail's edge. Diagnosis involves a careful examination by a podiatrist who assesses the visual symptoms and inquires about the individual's lifestyle and footwear choices. While mild cases may be managed with warm soaks and proper nail care, severe instances may require medical intervention. Podiatrists may recommend partial nail removal or antibiotics to address infection. An ingrown toenail can cause severe pain and discomfort. If you have developed this condition, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can provide the treatment that is right for you.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Ankle & Foot of Edmonds. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.


  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.


Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Edmonds, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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