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Two Ways an Ingrown Toenail Can Develop

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 00:00

The two ways an ingrown toenail can develop consists of the nail growing into the skin or it can grow over the nail. A common reason for this condition to occur includes improper trimming of the toenails. They may curl and dig under the skin, possibly causing the nail and surrounding area to become red and swollen. In severe cases the affected nail may become infected and pus could ooze out. Additionally, some patients wear shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in and this may cause the toenails to become ingrown. Relief may be found when the nail is soaked in warm water and this can make it easier to pull the nail away from the skin using a piece of cotton. It is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly manage this condition if you have an ingrown toenail or recurring ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. 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 offices located in Lakeport and Ukiah, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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