Tuesday, 27 June 2023 00:00

How Ingrown Toenails Can Develop

There are various reasons an ingrown toenail can develop. This painful foot condition is defined as the toenail growing into the skin instead of over it. Common reasons for an ingrown toenail to develop are trimming the toenails incorrectly, and wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Additionally, it may happen from having an abnormal foot structure, genetic reasons, or if a toe injury has occurred. Temporary relief may come from soaking the affected foot in warm water, followed by using a small piece of cotton to separate the nail from the skin. It can also help to wear wider shoes that can accommodate the affected toe, and the pain may be eased by taking over-the-counter medication. Permanent relief can be found when a podiatrist is contacted, who can perform minor surgery to correct this condition. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you speak to this type of doctor who can offer you treatment options that are best for you.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Philip C. Caswell, DPM of Family Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor 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 Sparta, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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