The Realities of Ingrown Toenails

The Realities of Ingrown Toenails

February 27, 2024

Ingrown toenails occur when the edge or corner of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, leading to pain, swelling, and potential infection. Typically affecting the big toe, ingrown toenails can result from a variety of factors. Improper nail trimming, such as rounding the corners or cutting them too short, increases the likelihood of ingrowth. Wearing tight-fitting shoes or high heels can exert pressure on the toes, contributing to the development of ingrown nails. Additionally, injury or trauma to the toe, genetic predisposition, and underlying health conditions like fungal infections or diabetes can elevate the risk. Ignoring ingrown toenails can lead to complications, including infections that may require medical intervention. Seeking timely attention from a podiatrist for ingrown toenails can help alleviate discomfort and prevent potential complications. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can offer successful treatment options, which may include minor surgery for relief.

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 PA Foot & Ankle Associates. 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.


  • 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.


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


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 one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care.

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