Ingrown Toenails Causes, Prevention & Treatment

Ingrown Toenails Causes, Prevention & Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a common disorder in which the toe's edge extends into the skin around the nail. This can result in discomfort, swelling, and redness, as well as infection if left untreated. We will look at the reasons of ingrown toenails, as well as prevention and treatment alternatives.

Ingrown Toenail Causes

A multitude of reasons can contribute to ingrown toenails, including:

  • Improper toenail trimming: Too short a toenail or smoothing the edges might cause the nail to grow into the skin.

  • Tight-fitting shoes: Tight shoes can put pressure on the toes, causing the nail to grow into the skin.

  • Toe trauma, such as stubbing it, can cause the nail to grow into the skin.

  • Genetics: Some persons are predisposed to ingrown toenails due to the shape of their nails or the position of their toes.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown nails mostly occur on the big toes. In most cases, the nail grows on one side, and less often on both sides of the nail.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • pain and tenderness along one or both sides of the nail,

  • pains on the big toe around the nail,

  • redness around the toenails,

  • swelling of the flesh around the nails,

  • infection of the tissue around the toenails.

Consult a doctor if you experience great discomfort and pain in your toe, or if you develop pus and redness that seems to be spreading. Also, if you suffer from diabetes or some other disease that causes poor blood flow to the legs and feet, it is recommended that you see a doctor immediately to avoid complications.

Ingrown Toenail Prevention Tips

Ingrown nails are not difficult to prevent. If you have an ingrown toenail problem, check your toenails every night before going to bed, trim your nails regularly or leave it to a professional pedicurist (ingrown toenail pedicure). In case you have nail fungus, don't try nail polish until you get rid of the fungus and ingrown nail. Almost every woman likes nice shoes, but nice shoes are often not comfortable and encourage this problem. Choose shoes that do not have too high a heel, as your foot will slide down, and your toes and nails will be pushed forward. In addition to being painful, it can lead to ingrowth of the nail, and in some cases to the complete fall off of the nail.

If you have an ingrown toenail problem or have a genetic predisposition to it, avoid wearing 'spikes', ballet flats, old shoes or any other footwear that is too narrow at the top. If your foot is not naturally narrow, be sure to choose footwear that better suits the anatomy of your foot. Always trim the nails from the edge, not from the middle.

Fortunately, there are some extra steps you may do to avoid acquiring ingrown toenails:

  • Trim your toes correctly: Trim your nails straight across and avoid rounding the edges to avoid ingrown toenails.

  • Avoid rounding your nails: When cutting your nails, be careful not to cut your nails too short. After regular trimming, always try to file the nails as well as possible.

  • Wear properly fitting shoes: Tight shoes can put pressure on the toes, resulting in ingrown toenails. Choose shoes that are well-fitting and allow your toes to flex freely.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options

If there is no inflammation, ingrown nails can be treated with home methods and a visit to a pedicurist before more serious complications arise. During the treatment of ingrown nails, avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes.


If home remedies have not helped to treat an ingrown toenail, your doctor may recommend:

  • Removal of the nail from the tissue - if your problem is constantly recurring and causes complications and infections, the doctor may suggest removing part of the nail under the tissue. This procedure can prevent that part of the nail from growing back. The doctor will use chemicals, laser or other methods.

  • Lifting the nail - if there is redness and pain, but no pus, the doctor can carefully lift the ingrown nail and put cotton or some other means under it. This separates it from the skin and helps it grow above the edge of the skin. At home, you will need to soak your finger and change the cotton.

  • Partial nail removal – for more severe cases of ingrown toenails (redness, pain and pus), the doctor can remove the ingrown part of the nail. Before this procedure, the doctor can temporarily numb the finger with anesthesia.


Since the ingrown toenail cannot be completely cured by natural methods, more and more people are resorting to surgical nail shaping. Ingrown nail surgery involves removing the side part of the nail that is affected by the infection. Today, a method is used in which the narrow part of the nail that grows in is removed, and there is no need for suturing. The operation usually lasts 10 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia.

Back to blog

Featured collection