Si quiere leer este sitio de web en EspaƱol, por favor cambiar el lenguaje en la esquina superior derecha.

How We Treat Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be a painful condition that makes it difficult to wear shoes or can even lead to bleeding and pus forming in the toe. It typically happens because someone trims their toenails too short or tapers the edges of the toenails to make for a round appearance. While this may be seemingly attractive, it is dangerous for the health of the toe.

Treating ingrown toenails

When one tapers or files the edges of the toenail down to a more rounded shape, it encourages the toenail to grow into the side of the toe. It can then continue to grow into this downward position until the toenail is fully ingrown and cuts into the skin.

This type of toe nail trimming is a common technique that is also practiced by many nail salons, so it is important for someone to make sure that the toenail is cut straight across regardless of whether the trimming is being done at home or in a salon.


Another reason for ingrown toenails is wearing shoes that are too small or too tight. This tends to happen a lot with children who may wear tennis shoes, cleats or regular sandals that are too small and their toes are forced tightly together in the process. Without enough room to expand, both the toes and toenails will have pressure applied to them. The toenails can then move in the downward position and cut into the actual toe.


When the toenail initially becomes ingrown, the area around it is likely to harden and feel sore. In time, bleeding will occur and pus may begin to form and drain from the toenail. When the condition becomes worse, the skin may even grow over the actual toenail.

If these symptoms are present, it is wise to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to treat the ingrown toenail before the condition becomes more painful.


At home, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection and decrease pain. These begin with soaking the toes several times a day and using antiseptic when necessary. Additionally, if we can raise the softened toenail slightly, it may be possible to insert cotton balls or even dental wax underneath the toenail to keep it in an elevated position.

The elevated position can provide some relief and also help the toenail begin to grow normally. We sometimes recommend this as the initial course of action, but in many cases, further steps are necessary. We encourage patients to visit our podiatrist office so that we can help to resolve the issue permanently.

In many cases, we will need to cut away the ingrown portion of the toenail and expose the nail bed. We will use anesthesia to ensure patients do not feel any pain during the process. Afterward, it will become important to protect the total and so we recommend wearing clean socks and open sandals while keeping the area completely clean and free from too much moisture. In many cases, the toenail will then grow in correctly.


To learn more about ingrown toenails and what we do to treat them, call our clinic and schedule an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Reasons to See A Doctor if You Suspect a Bunion

A bunion is a bump that forms on the inside of your foot, near your big toe. Bunions can cause significant discomfort and may affect your ability to move. It’s important to see a doctor if you suspect you have a bunion.

Little Known Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can make it difficult for you to walk comfortably, impacting your day-to-day activities significantly. Learn about little known causes of heel pain and how they can be addressed to give you back your freedom of movement.

5 Sports Injuries That Affect the Feet

Your feet support the full weight of your body and are prone to many types of sports injuries. These injuries can be very painful and debilitating, taking you off the field or court and negatively impacting your training.

How to Prevent Bunion Pain

A bunion is a bony protrusion on the side of your foot, at the base of your big toe, caused by bones in your foot being out of alignment. Bunions can result in discomfort, and, if untreated, can develop into more serious conditions.

Why Is My Toenail Yellow and Crumbly?

Foot problems can affect how your feet look and feel, as well as your ability to stand and walk. Toenails that are dry and crumbly are not only unattractive, but can cause bothersome symptoms and may require professional treatment. Read on to learn more.

Here's How Custom Orthotics Can Help Flat Feet

With flat feet, your soles don’t have the typical curve on the underside, allowing the entire bottom surface to touch the ground. This can cause knee and ankle pain. Learn how custom orthotics can help.