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What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Monday, 11 May 2020 00:00

Toenails that grow into the surrounding skin of the nail bed are referred to as ingrown toenails. This foot condition is known to be incredibly painful and can cause redness and swelling to the toe. In severe cases, some patients may experience a discharge coming from the impacted toe, which is often indicative of an infection. There are several different reasons why an ingrown toenail may develop. Common causes for an ingrown toenail may include tightly fitted footwear, injury to the toe, improper toenail trimming, unusual toenail curvature, and genetic factors. If you believe you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is suggested you speak with a podiatrist to determine the best plan of treatment for you.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Bennet Grad of Bennet Grad, DPM. 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.

Causes

  • 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

Prevention

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.

Treatment

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 West Chester, OH. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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