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Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

The pain that comes from having an ingrown toenail cannot be ignored. The medical term for this condition is referred to as onychocryptosis, and it generally affects the big toe. It happens when the nail grows into the skin instead of over it, and noticeable symptoms may be redness, soreness, and swelling. Effective prevention methods for an ingrown toenail can consist of wearing shoes that fit properly and trimming the toenails straight across instead of in a curved direction. An ingrown toenail also can happen if a toe injury has occurred, or if the shoes and socks that are worn are too tight. Patients may find temporary relief when the foot is soaked in warm water, and the nail is gently pulled away from the skin by using a small piece of cotton. Permanent relief can be found when a podiatrist is contacted, who can perform minor surgery, if necessary for removal of the nail. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you contact this type of doctor who can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Pennsylvania Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.


  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.


Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Port Richmond, Philadelphia, and Hamilton, New Jersey . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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