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What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be incredibly uncomfortable, sensitive to the touch, and can cause a great deal of pain. Ingrown toenails can be caused by trimming the toenails too short, injury to the toenail, having curved toenails due to genetics, wearing ill-fitting shoes that are too tight, and poor hygiene. If left untreated, the toenail may become infected, causing drainage and bleeding. The affected toe may become swollen and red as well. Some patients have found relief by soaking their feet in a bath of warm water and epsom salts, and by wearing comfortable shoes. If you feel you have developed an ingrown toenail, please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan.

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 Advanced Foot & Ankle Center. 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.

Causes

  • 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.

Symptoms

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

Treatment

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 offices located in Texarkana and, Mount Pleasant, TX and Nashville, AR. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

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