How Did I Get an Ingrown Toenail?

The big toe is often affected if an ingrown toenail develops. It is defined as the toenail growing into the skin instead of over it and can cause severe pain and discomfort. The medical term for an ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis, or unguis incarnates, and this condition may happen from wearing shoes that are too tight. It may also develop from genetic reasons or if the toenails are trimmed improperly. The noticeable symptoms can include tenderness surrounding the affected nail, and it may be red or ooze pus. An ingrown toenail can become a serious foot condition if an infection develops, and it is wise to seek prompt medical attention. Effective prevention methods include trimming the toenails straight across instead of in a curved fashion and wearing shoes that are made of breathable materials. The latter may also be helpful in preventing sweaty feet, which can lead to getting an ingrown toenail. If you have developed this painful condition, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can efficiently treat ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Foot & Ankle Medical Center . Our doctors 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 Thousand Oaks, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

Connect With Us