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What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00

Ingrown toenails happen when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. This can lead to the area becoming swollen, tender, painful and inflamed. In some cases, the area can also become infected. There are many potential causes of ingrown toenails, including wearing shoes that are too tight, sustaining an injury to the toenail, or trimming the toenails improperly. Repetitive stress on the toenails from poor posture, partaking in certain sports, poor circulation, and having a genetic predisposition to ingrown toenails can also make them more likely to occur. If you have painful or recurrent ingrown toenails, or an ingrown toenail that is showing signs of infection, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.  

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Leonora Fihman, DPM of California. 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 offices located in Encino and Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care


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