Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:00

Understanding the Basics of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common and often painful foot condition that can disrupt daily life. Understanding the definition and recognizing the symptoms is essential for managing this ailment effectively. An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the surrounding skin instead of over it. This can lead to redness, swelling, and tenderness along the side of the affected toe. As the nail continues to dig into the skin, it can cause pain and discomfort, making it a challenge to wear shoes or walk comfortably. In some cases, ingrown toenails can become infected, resulting in pus drainage and increased pain. The common culprits behind ingrown toenails include improper nail trimming, wearing tight-fitting shoes, hereditary factors, or injury. It is helpful for individuals with diabetes, poor circulation, or weakened immunity to be especially cautious, as ingrown toenails can lead to more severe complications. Timely intervention is important. Soaking the foot in warm, soapy water, gently lifting the ingrown edge of the nail, and keeping the area clean can help alleviate symptoms. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Rahil Baxamusa, DPM of Illinois. 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 Crystal Lake, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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