Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

All About Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are formed when the nail grows into the surrounding skin, rather than over it. Ingrown toenails can become extremely painful, and if not attended to quickly, may become infected. People with curved or thick toenails are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. Common causes of ingrown toenails include nails that are rounded, shoes and socks do nott fit properly, or stubbing the toe. Repeating an activity that aggravates the toe, such as kicking a soccer ball, can also lead to the development of an ingrown toenail. Trimming the toenail straight across can help to relieve the pain. If the skin around the ingrown toenail becomes red, swollen, or infected, it may be wise to consult with a podiatrist who can examine it. Draining the infected area along with administering medication are among the treatments that may be offered. In the most severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Your podiatrist  also may offer post-surgical instructions to speed your recovery and prevent future occurrences.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Gerald McCool, DPM of McCool Podiatry. 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 El Paso, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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