Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenail is the term used to describe a toenail where the corner, or side, of the nail grows into the flesh of the toe.  In many cases, ingrown nails occur in the large toe, of the foot.  The end result of this common condition is pain, redness and swelling.  Infection can occur in some cases.  Below are 2 examples of common cases of ingrown toenails.

Causes of ingrown toenails include cutting the nails too short or not straight across.  This allows the skin on the sides and end of the toe to curl above the toenail, and cause the nail to grown down and inward.  Thus the phrase “ingrown toenail”.  Other causes are injury to the toenail, and wearing shoes that crowd the toenails.

Dr. Max Weisfeld


Baltimore, Maryland

Treatment of ingrown toenails varies from soaking to surgery.  In mild cases, ingrown toenails may be treated with 15-20 minute soak in warm water.  Then a small piece of dry cotton can be placed under the corner of the nail, in order, to redirect it’s growth above the skin.

Talk to your podiatrist if you are experiencing increasing pain, swelling, and drainage around the area.  The toe may become, severely, infected which may lead to dangerous consequences depending on the health status of the patient.  Minor surgery, usually performed in the podiatrist’s office, can be performed to remove the part of the nail that is poking into the skin.  The patient, in the photo above, had both large toenails operated on, under local anesthesia, in the office.  The offending portion of the toenail is, usually, removed on permanent basis.

Disclaimer:  The advice on this website is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider.  I will not be held liable for any diagnosis made or treatment recommended.  Please consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.