November 30, 2015
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Ingrown Toenail

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Ingrown toenail facts

  • An ingrown toenail is a common condition often seen in the big toenail.
  • Athletes commonly suffer from ingrown toenails.
  • Improper shoe gear and toe injuries are frequently associated with ingrown toenails.
  • It is not unusual for an ingrown toenail to recur unless treated appropriately.
  • Conservative treatments include soaks, elevation, and good foot hygiene. Medical treatment is not always required. Oral antibiotics are sometimes required as a treatment if infection is present. Sometimes minor toenail surgery is required.

What are ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail is caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. Once the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it produces inflammation. Initially presenting as a minor discomfort, it may progress into an infection in the adjacent skin (cellulitis) and/or become a reoccurring problem. Ingrown toenails most commonly affect the large (great) toes. An ingrown toenail is medically referred to as onychocryptosis.

What causes ingrown toenails?

The main causes of an ingrown toenail are improper trimming of the toenail, an inherited or hereditary condition, and improper shoe fitting. Injury by overly aggressive pedicures and nail picking are also common causes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/18/2015


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