Ingrown Toenails: What Are the Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Options, and Prevention Measures?

Ingrown toenails are a common problem that occurs in a small percentage of the population. An ingrown nail is when the edge of the nail grows into the skin rather than over it, causing discomfort and possible infection if left untreated.

In some cases, an ingrown toenail can become so severe that it can grow into the toe itself, a condition is known as Onychocryptis. When left untreated, ingrown toenails can cause infection, so you should seek treatment from a Midtown East ingrown toenail specialist before it gets out of hand.


There are several causes for ingrown toenails, but the most common cause is improperly fitted shoes that exert pressure on the toes. A tight toe box can push on your second and fourth toes, causing them to grow inward rather than outward. Athletes who wear protective sports gear or regular runners may also experience this condition.

People with diabetes and poor blood circulation are also at higher risk of getting ingrown toenails. If you fall into one of these categories, you must take extra precautions to avoid this problem or seek treatment as soon as possible if you do develop an ingrown toenail.


The most common symptom of an ingrown toenail is pain within the toe. You may also feel a sharp and constant pain when you touch the affected area or while wearing shoes. If left untreated for too long, ingrown toenails can become infected and cause more severe symptoms such as fever and chills.


There are several ways to treat ingrown toenails, but it is best to seek the assistance of a professional podiatrist so you can get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Your doctor will take X-rays of your toe to determine precisely what type of nail deformity you have. They may also prescribe you an antibiotic to treat any potential infections.

Other treatment options for ingrown toenails include cutting the nail short, so it doesn’t continue growing into the skin, soaking your toe in saltwater several times a day, and rubbing on antibiotic ointment or surgery. Surgery is used as a last resort if all other treatments fail.


To avoid getting ingrown toenails, you should often change your shoes and get a proper fitting at a store specializing in foot care. Wear comfortable clothing when exercising or playing sports and immediately clean any scratches or cuts around the affected area. It would help if you also tried soaking your feet from time to time, but make sure the water is warm rather than hot.

If you have diabetes or have poor blood circulation, be especially careful to give your feet the care they need. If you experience any tell-tale signs of an ingrown toenail, make sure to see a podiatrist immediately.

In summary, ingrown toenails are a relatively common condition where the edge of the nail grows into the skin rather than over it. It mainly occurs due to wearing shoes with a tight toe box or poor circulation caused by diabetes. A podiatrist can diagnose the condition by taking x-rays of the affected toe. 

They may recommend antibiotics to treat or prevent infections and surgical intervention to remove the ingrown toenail. You can prevent ingrown toenails by wearing shoes that fit well.