Tuesday, 12 March 2024 00:00

Causes and Types of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, leading to pain, inflammation, and potential infection. There are different types of ingrown toenails, including those caused by improper nail trimming, wearing tight-fitting shoes, or genetic predisposition. Additionally, trauma to the toe or fungal infections can cause an ingrown toenail to develop. The most common type involves the toenail growing into the skin at the sides of the nail bed, often resulting from cutting nails too short or rounding the edges. Alternatively, a pincer nail may develop, where the sides of the nail curve inward, putting pressure on the skin. Ingrown toenails can also result from wearing shoes that crowd the toes or participating in activities that put repetitive pressure on the feet. Understanding the causes and types of ingrown toenails is essential for prevention and prompt treatment. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist sooner rather than later. This type of doctor can successfully treat this condition and offer you effective prevention tips.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the foot specialists of Table Mountain Foot and Ankle. 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 Wheat Ridge, CO . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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