Understanding the 4 Causes of Ingrown Toenails


Ingrown toenails,(or onychocryptosis as the condition is known medically), can be a major problem, especially when it affects several toenails at the same time. The pain and discomfort can make it hard to wear shoes and if left untreated, an infection can develop. The condition can be especially problematic for diabetic patients since the infection can spread and possibly lead to amputation if not noticed and treated in time. Signs of an ingrown toenail include severe pain, redness, and swelling. If infection is present, you may notice a fluid discharge.

4 common causes of ingrown toenails include the following:

1)    Poor toenail cutting technique—One of the major causes of ingrown toenails is from improper toenail cutting. Always cut your toenails a little long and straight across rather than on a curve. This will help prevent the edge of the nail growing into the skin.

2)    Toe injury—Injuring your toe can happen by stubbing or dropping a heavy object on your foot. The force can push the toenail into your skin.

3)    Improperly fitted footwear—Tightly fitting shoes push toes together and the pressure increases the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. Choose shoes with a wider toe box to give your toes room to move.

4)    Fungal toenail infectionThis is a type of infection that may cause the toenail to become thick, brittle, and sharp, leading to an ingrown toenail problem.

If you are currently experiencing pain and discomfort from ingrown toenails, see your foot specialist for the proper care. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.