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Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

The pain of an ingrown toenail can often be uncomfortable and frustrating, and will typically affect the big toe. It generally occurs when the nails are not trimmed correctly, which may cause the side of the nail to grow downward. Additionally, an ingrown toenail may result from wearing shoes that fit poorly. Common symptoms may include the toe appearing red and tender and in severe cases, a discharge may ooze from the affected and surrounding areas. Many patients will benefit from consulting with a podiatrist who may suggest soaking the foot in lukewarm salt water several times per day. This method will soften the skin which may attain moderate relief. If the toenail becomes infected, surgery may be a necessary treatment option for removal of the nail and the infected surrounding tissue. If you would like additional information about how to prevent or treat ingrown toenails, please consult with a podiatrist

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Essex Podiatry Associates. 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 our office located in Livingston, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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