Tuesday, 05 March 2024 00:00

What Is an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails are a common and often painful foot condition that occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. Redness, swelling, and tenderness often accompany an ingrown toenail, which can cause discomfort when walking. The big toe is the most common site for ingrown toenails to appear. Possible causes include improper nail trimming, wearing tight shoes, or sustaining foot injuries. People with naturally curved or thick nails can be more prone to ingrown toenails. Conservative treatments for an ingrown toenail include warm foot soaks and proper nail care, while surgical approaches may be used in more severe cases. Podiatrists specialize in treating ingrown toenails. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, it is suggested you make an appointment with this type of doctor who offers treatment options. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. 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 offices located in River Oaks and Sharpstown in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails

Connect With Us