Tuesday, 11 July 2023 00:00

Common Reasons Why an Ingrown Toenail Can Develop

An ingrown toenail happens when the nail grows into the skin instead of over it. Common reasons for this to occur can be from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or if there is a family history of it. Additionally, people who trim their toenails incorrectly or have injured their toes may develop an ingrown toenail. People who have diabetes can incur poor circulation, which may inhibit normal nail growth, thus increasing the possibility of getting an ingrown toenail. Mild relief may temporarily be found when the affected foot is soaked in warm water, making it easier to gently pull the skin away from the nail. Preventive techniques can include wearing shoes that fit correctly and keeping the feet as dry as possible. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you consult a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can provide you with permanent relief and treatment options.  

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Paul Hutchison, DPM of Hutchison Foot Clinic. 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 Memphis, TN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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