Monday, 03 August 2020 00:00

Possible Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

The medical condition that is known as an ingrown toenail is considered to be one of the most common foot ailments. It occurs as a result of the outer edge of the nail growing into the skin, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. Common reasons an ingrown toenail may develop can consist of trimming the toenails improperly, and wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, if an abnormal foot structure exists, the risk may increase for an ingrown toenail to develop. Many patients find mild relief when the toe is soaked in warm water, and this may help to soften the affected area. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Michael Tomey, DPM of Cary Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 Cary, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

Connect With Us