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What Does an Ingrown Toenail Look Like?

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 00:00

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a nail grows into the surrounding skin. This usually happens on the big toe, but can happen to any toenail. Ingrown toenails dig into the skin, causing them to become red, swollen, tender, and painful. The edge of the toenail itself may be curved or ragged. Ingrown toenails can lead to infection, which may cause a buildup of pus, oozing, bleeding, warmth, and throbbing pain. To avoid ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you trim your toenails regularly with a nail clipper. The nails should be trimmed straight across and not too short. If you have particularly painful, recurrent, or infected ingrown toenails, please consult with a podiatrist who can offer you various treatment options and recommendations on how to avoid ingrown toenails in the future. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Thomas Madden of Advanced Foot Care Center. Our doctor 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 Killeen, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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