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How to tell if you have an ingrown nail: The request could not be satisfied


Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers: Podiatrists

Pain and swelling around your toe and the inability to wear certain shoes might be signs of an ingrown toenail. It’s a common condition that you can sometimes take care of at home. But if the pain becomes unbearable, or you can see an infection in the tissue around your toenail, you may need to seek medical treatment.

Here at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our skilled podiatrists treat ingrown toenails to get rid of the infection and alleviate painful symptoms. To help you discern if your symptoms are beyond home remedies, we’ve put together this guide to help you identify when your ingrown toenail requires medical attention.

Ingrown toenails are a common condition

If you’ve ever had the corner or side of your toenail become red and inflamed, you’ve probably had an ingrown toenail. This common condition most often occurs when you cut your toenails too short, wear tight shoes, or stub your toe. Additionally, some people have toenails that naturally curve into the skin, making them more susceptible to ingrown toenails and infections.

While you can resolve most ingrown toenails on your own, if they become infected and the infection spreads, or if you have certain pre-existing health conditions, an ingrown toenail can become more serious than just an irritated toe.

Assess your symptoms

Ingrown toenails commonly occur in your big toe. Signs that you have an ingrown toenail include:

  • Swollen, red skin on one side of the affected toenail
  • Pain and tenderness in your toe
  • Pain from the pressure of wearing shoes
  • Overgrown skin at the tip of the toe or alongside the nail
  • Blood or pus that leaks from the toenail or an open sore

If at first your symptoms are just uncomfortable, but not too serious, home remedies may alleviate your discomfort and prevent infection.

Try these home remedies

At first sign of an ingrown toenail, try these home remedies to reduce pain and swelling and to see if your ingrown nail will resolve on its own:

  • Soak your toe in warm water for 15-20 minutes several times a day
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the toe and cover it with a bandage
  • Wear sandals so there’s no pressure on your toe
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Avoid cutting the toenail

If your toe begins to feel better after a couple days with these solutions, you’re probably not at risk of the infection spreading or becoming debilitating. However, if your symptoms worsen, or get better at first, but then the pain and swelling return, it’s a good idea to seek medical treatment.

When to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists

When home remedies don’t work, or you have recurring ingrown toenails, it’s time to schedule an appointment with us. Your podiatrist at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers can determine what’s causing the recurring ingrown toenail and treat it accordingly.

If you have diabetes or a condition that causes poor circulation in your feet, you have a greater risk for an ingrown toenail becoming a serious medical problem. It’s especially important that you don’t wait to seek medical attention. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to an infection or an abscess on your toe that may require surgical intervention. Or the infection can spread into the bone in your toe.

How a podiatrist treats your ingrown toenail

After careful examination and talking to you about your overall health and wellness, your podiatrist may be able to carefully lift your toenail to separate the nail from the skin. This helps your nail grow above the skin instead of into it.

In more severe cases, your doctor may need to remove some or all of your toenail. If necessary, your podiatrist may use a local anesthetic to numb your toe and remove the nail and a small area of skin that’s contributing to the problem.

To treat the infection, you may need to use a topical antibiotic or take one orally. If you’re prone to ingrown toenails or foot infections, your doctor will discuss preventive methods to minimize problems for you in the long term.

If you’re concerned about an ingrown toenail becoming a more serious health complication, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation at one of our offices in Arlington or Mansfield, Texas. Click the “book online” button or call us to get the medical attention you need in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey: Podiatry

Our feet endure stress during most of the day as we accomplish daily activities. This may come from standing or walking for extended periods of time, and our feet will often tell us if something is amiss. One of these uncomfortable conditions is known as ingrown toenails, and this may often produce severe pain and discomfort. This occurs when the nail on the big toe begins to grow into the skin next to it. Reasons why this may occur may be from improperly trimming the toenails or wearing shoes that fit incorrectly. There are noticeable symptoms that typically accompany this condition, including redness and inflammation at the end of the toe, pain when pressure is applied, bleeding, or in severe cases, pus may drain from the affected area. Research has shown the importance in obtaining prompt treatment, which may avoid a painful infection. If you have developed an ingrown toenail, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you to a correct course of action.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.


  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.


Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Cherry Hill, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment, Surgery, Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Medically reveiwed by Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine

Aksoy, B., et al. “Lateral Foldplasty with or without Partial Matricectomy for the Management of Ingrown Toenails.” Dermatol Surg 35 (2009): 462-468.

Borges, A. P.P., V.P.C. Pelafsky, L.D.B. Miot, and H.A. Miot. “Quality of Life With Ingrown Toenails: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Dermatol Surg 43.5 May 2017: 751-753. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000954.

Chapeskie, H., et al. “Soft-Tissue Nail Fold Excision: a Definitive Treatment for Ingrown Toenails.”
Can J Surg 53.4 (2010): 282-286.

Cordoba, D.D., et al. “Evidence of Efficacy of Alcohol Lavage in the Phenolization Treatment of Ingrown Toenails.”
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 25.7 (2011): 794-798.

Di Chiacchio, Nilton, and Nilton Gioia Di Chiacchio. “Best Way to Treat an Ingrown Toenail.” Dermatol Clin 33 (2015): 277-282.

Erdogan, F.G., and G. Erdogan. “Long-Term Results of Nail Brace Application in Diabetic Patients with Ingrown Nails.” Dermatol Surg
34 (2008): 84-87.

Farrelly, P.J., et al. “Comment on: Surgical Treatment of Ingrown Toenails in Children: What is Best Practice?”
Ann R Coll Surg Engl 93. 4 (2011): 336.

Heidelbaugh, J.J., et al. “Management of the Ingrown Toenail.” Am Fam Physician
79.4 (2009): 303-308.

Li, J., et al. “Clinical Study of Treatment for Recalcitrant Ingrown Toenail by Partial Distal phalanx Removal.”
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Sug 62.10 (2009): 1327-1330.

Majcen, M.E., et al. “Interpretation of Radiologic Abnormalities in Patients with Chronically Infected Ingrown Toenails with Regard to a Possible Exogenic Osteomyelitis.”
J Pediatr Surg 44.11 (2009): 2179-2183.

Matsumoto, K., et al. “Resin Splint as a New Conservative Treatment for Ingrown Toenails.”
J Med Invest 57.3-4 (2010): 321-325.

Mitchell, S., et al. “Surgical Treatment of Ingrown Toenails in Children: What is Best Practice?”
Ann R Coll Surg Engl 93.2 (2011): 99-102.

Noel, B. “Surgical Treatment of Ingrown Toenail Without Matricectomy.” Dermatol Surg
34 (2008): 79-83.

Peyvandi, H., et al. “Comparison of Two Surgical Methods (Winograd and Sleeve Method) in the Treatment of Ingrown Toenail.”
Dermatol Surg 37.3 (2011): 331-335.

Taheri, Arash, et al. “A Conservative Method to Gutter Splint Ingrown Toenails.” JAMA Dermatology 150.12 December 2014: 1359-1360.

Tatlican, S., et al. “Chemical Matricectomy with 10% Sodium Hydroxide for the Treatment of Ingrown Toenails in people with Diabetes.”
Dermatol Surg 36.2 (2010): 219-222.

Vanhooteghem, O., et al. “Scedosporium apiospermum Septicemia Following a Wedge Excision of an Ingrown Toenail.”
Int J Dermatol 48.10 (2009): 1137-1139.

Won, J-H, J-S Chun, and Y-H Won. “A non-invasive method for treating ingrown nail recurrence due to incomplete matricectomy.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.08.026.

Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon

A toenail becomes ingrown when an edge of it grows into the skin alongside it. It’s a very common foot condition, but it’s also one that can be very painful and even lead to infection.

As a trained podiatrist, David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, and our team at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute regularly treat ingrown toenails and infections. In this blog, Dr. Glover explains the symptoms of ingrown toenails and what can be done about them.

Causes of ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails generally affect the big toes, but they can occur on any toe. One or both sides of your nail might be affected. Ingrown toenails can occur for a number of reasons, but here are the most common ones:

  • Clipping your toenails too short or in a round shape
  • Wearing tight shoes or shoes that are too small
  • Genetic propensity

When trimming your toenails, you should trim them straight across.

Telltale signs of ingrown toenails

Here are the most common signs of an ingrown toenail:

Pain and tenderness

The most common symptom of an ingrown toenail is pain in your toe. A minor ingrown nail might start with mild pain or tenderness when you touch it or wear tight-fitting shoes. If an infection develops, the pain may get more intense and affect your ability to walk or wear shoes comfortably.


You may notice an area of swollen or hard skin next to your toenail if it’s ingrown. Pressing on the swollen spot may be painful. Sometimes, swelling and inflammation may make your toe warm to the touch.


Along with swelling, the skin around your ingrown nail might turn red. Redness can spread as the ingrown toenail worsens or if the area gets infected. If you notice red streaks leading from your toe, seek medical care, as this could indicate a more serious infection.


Infected ingrown toenails can develop fluid buildup or pus. Pus may drain or ooze from the area, and it’s often white or yellow in color. Some people notice bleeding around the nail, with or without oozing pus.

Nail discoloration

Sometimes, fungal infections develop with ingrown nails. Along with toe pain and inflammation, you might notice your toenail turning yellow, developing white patches, or getting flaky if you have a fungal infection.

When to seek medical help for ingrown toenails

Minor ingrown nails can improve with at-home care. Try soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salt a few times a day, being sure to dry your foot thoroughly between soaks. Wear comfortable shoes with large toe boxes to avoid placing extra pressure on your toe.

If you’re concerned about your ingrown nail, you notice signs of infection, or if you have diabetes, schedule a podiatrist appointment right away.

Dr. Glover may place a small splint under your nail to lift it and give the skin time to heal. He can also prescribe antibiotic medication if there’s an infection. In more severe cases, he might recommend surgically removing part or all of your toenail.

Don’t ignore the signs of an ingrown toenail. Get expert treatment by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute today.

Ingrown Toenail | Michigan Medicine

Topic Overview

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown into the skin instead of over it. This usually happens to the big toe, but it can also happen to other toes. An ingrown toenail can get infected. It may be painful, red, and swollen, and it may drain pus. See a picture of an ingrown toenail.

Anyone can get an ingrown toenail, but adults get them more than children do. People who have curved or thick nails are more likely to get an ingrown toenail. This is more common in older adults.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail can have a number of different causes. Cutting your toenail too short or rounding the edge of the nail can cause it to grow into the skin. Wearing shoes or socks that don’t fit well can also cause an ingrown toenail. If your shoes are too tight, they might press the nail into the toe and cause it to grow into the skin.

You can get an ingrown toenail if you hurt your toe, such as stubbing it. This can cause the nail to grow inward. Repeating an activity that injuries the nail, such as kicking a soccer ball, can also cause an ingrown nail.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of an ingrown toenail is the pain from the nail growing into the skin instead of over it. If the ingrown toenail gets infected, it might be swollen or red, and it might drain pus. The area around the ingrown toenail is often painful.

How is an ingrown toenail diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a physical exam to diagnose an ingrown toenail. He or she will look at your toe where the nail has grown into the skin.

How is it treated?

You can try the following steps at home to relieve the pain caused by your ingrown toenail and help the nail to grow out naturally:

  • Soak your sore toe in warm water for 15 minutes 2 to 3 times each day.
  • Wedge a small piece of wet cotton, such as part of a cotton ball, under the corner of your ingrown nail. This will help lift the nail off of the skin.
  • Soak your toe and change the piece of cotton each day until the nail grows out and can be trimmed.
  • Do not use a sharp object like manicure scissors to dig under your nail, because the toe might get infected.
  • Do not try to use a needle to drain the pus from your toe. This could make the infection worse.
  • While your ingrown toenail is healing, wear comfortable shoes or sandals that do not press on your toe.

Use these home treatment steps for 3 days. If they do not help, you might need to see your doctor. Be sure to see a doctor if your toe gets infected. Your toe might be infected if it hurts more than it did before you tried the home treatment. Call your doctor if your toe is red, warm, swollen, or drains pus, or if there are red streaks leading from your toe.

Your doctor might give you antibiotics. If your toenail is very ingrown, your doctor might suggest minor surgery to remove all or part of the ingrown nail. He or she may refer you to a podiatrist.

During this surgery, the doctor will numb your toe. Then he or she will cut the edge of the ingrown toenail and pull out the piece of nail. To prevent the nail from growing into the skin again, your doctor might destroy all or part of the nail root. This is called ablation. If your doctor removes all or part of your nail but does not destroy the root, it will begin to grow back within a few months.

After the surgery it is important to take care of your toe so that it can heal. Your doctor will give you specific instructions to follow. He or she may tell you to:

  • Soak your toe in warm water for 15 minutes 2 to 3 times each day.
  • Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, 2 times each day on the toe where the nail was removed.
  • Wear a bandage on your toe.
  • Wear loose-fitting shoes that don’t press on the toe where the nail was removed.
  • Take pain medicine if your toe hurts. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin (such as Bayer), ibuprofen (such as Advil), or naproxen (such as Aleve), might help your toe feel better. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

How can ingrown toenails be prevented?

You may be able to prevent ingrown toenails by wearing roomy and comfortable shoes and socks that do not press on your toes. If you work in a place where your toe might get hurt, wear sturdy shoes such as steel-toed boots to protect your toes.

Be sure to trim your toenails properly. You can do this by cutting your toenail straight across, not curved. Make sure you do not cut your toenail too short. You can also leave your toenail a little longer at the corners to help it grow over the skin.

If you have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, talk with your doctor before you trim your own toenails. People with diabetes have a hard time feeling their toes and might cut themselves without realizing it. Peripheral arterial disease can cause toes to be very painful.

Many hospitals and health care centers have foot care clinics, where someone can help you trim your toenails. Ask your doctor to recommend a foot care clinic near your home.

Ingrown Toenails (for Teens) – Nemours Kidshealth

What Is an Ingrown Toenail?

A toenail is ingrown when one or both sides of the nail begin to grow into the skin next to it This can lead to pain and swelling. Infection can happen because of all the bacteria that hang out on the feet and in shoes. Ingrown toenails usually happen to the big toes.

How Do Ingrown Toenails Happen?

The most common reason for ingrown toenails is cutting toenails too short. When people cut their nails too short, the skin on the sides can cover the corners of the nail. This causes the nail to grow back into the skin. Nails that are ripped instead of cut or cut in a rounded shape also tend to become ingrown because they don’t have clear corners. As they grow, a new corner grows under the skin and gets stuck.

Other common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Shoes that don’t fit well. Shoes that are too tight can push the skin on the sides of the nail up over the nail, forcing the nail to grow in. Shoes that are too short also can cause nails to grow into the soft skin.
  • Toe injuries. Some severe toe injuries can make the nail fall off. If that happens, the new nail can grow back ingrown.
  • Repeated activity. Sometimes, simply repeating the same activity — like kicking a soccer ball — over and over again can lead to ingrown toenails.

How Can You Tell if a Nail Is Ingrown?

Signs of an ingrown toenail include:

  • pain
  • swelling around the ingrown edge
  • pink or red skin

If an ingrown toenail becomes infected, signs might also include:

  • pain that gets worse
  • liquid or pus discharge
  • a warm feeling
  • a bad smell from the toe

How Can I Care for an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails, if caught early, can be treated at home without a doctor visit. If you notice a slight pain and see that your nail is starting to grow into the skin along the side, you can relieve the pain and try to avoid infection. Try soaking your affected foot in warm saltwater for 20 minutes at a time, 2–3 times a day, to relieve discomfort. To make saltwater, get a bucket of warm clean water or fill a bathtub just enough to soak your toe. Add 1–2 teaspoons of Epsom salt (available at drugstores or grocery stores). Regular table salt works OK too if that’s what you have.

To prevent the nail from settling back into the skin, try to relieve the pressure by placing a piece of a dry cotton (like from a cotton ball) under the corner of the nail that is growing into the skin. Put antibiotic cream on the irritated area twice a day— this can help prevent infection.

If the pain continues or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor right away.

When Should I See the Doctor for an Ingrown Toenail?

For something minor like an ingrown toenail, it may seem like overkill to visit the doctor. But if an infection sets in, ingrown toenails can be serious and almost always need care by a doctor or nurse.

If you notice any of the signs of infection, like discharge, warmth, or a bad smell, contact your doctor, who may ask you to see a podiatrist (foot specialist). Sometimes the podiatrist needs to remove the corner of the nail that is stuck and drain the pus or liquid that has built up in the skin. Not to worry, though — first the doctor will use medicine to numb the toe and you will feel much better when it’s done.

If the nail keeps growing back into the skin, sometimes the doctor will do a small surgery to remove a larger section of the nail or, rarely, the whole nail. Taking care of the toe after an ingrown toenail is removed is almost as important as the surgery itself. Doing as your doctor says after surgery will help you prevent infection and make the ingrown nail less likely to happen again.

What Else Should I Know?

To avoid ingrown toenails, cut toenails straight across and long enough so the corners are not tucked down into the skin. Don’t rip or tear toenails. Being careful when trimming your toenails can help avoid problems with ingrown nails later.

Caring for an Infected or Ingrown Toenail

What causes an infected toenail?

Your toenail can become infected in a number of ways, including fungal infections or even calluses caused by your shoes. One of the most common types of toenail infections is an ingrown toenail. If your toenail is ingrown, it means the edges of your toenail start to grow into the skin next to your toenail. Ingrown toenails can be red and inflamed, sore, and may even be filled with pus.

The most common causes of an ingrown toenails include:

  • Cutting your toenail too short or too long
  • Toenail injury
  • Curved toenails (genetic predisposition)
  • Improper footwear (too tight or narrow) that puts pressure on your big toes
  • Cutting your toenail improperly (you should cut it straight across without angling the sides of the nail)
  • Certain sports and activities like dance, soccer, and skiing
  • Poor foot hygiene (not keeping your feet clean and dry)

Infections on your toes may be common if you have diabetes or similar conditions that cause poor circulation or a weakened immune system. Diabetics should check their feet often and have regular appointments with a podiatrist because they may not feel the pain of a toe infection until the problem is severe.

Toenail infection symptoms

An infected toenail comes with pretty specific symptoms. They include:

  • Pain with pressure on your toe
  • The skin next to your nail being swollen, tender, or hard
  • Redness
  • Bleeding
  • Skin that grows over part of your toenail
  • A blister filled with pus (you may not notice a blister, but have large amounts of drainage coming from your toe)
  • Yellow toenails that are thick or cracked, suggesting a fungal infection in your toenails

At-home treatment options for ingrown toenails

You can do several things at home to treat an ingrown or infected toenail to help relieve pain and pressure:

  • Soak your toe in a warm foot bath with unscented Epsom salt. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of unscented Epsom salts into one quart of warm water and soak your foot for 15 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day for the first few days. Always dry your foot completely after soaking. Soaking your ingrown or infected toe will help relieve the pain and pressure of an infection. It can also help to draw out pus from your toe.
  • Keep your feet dry, unless you’re soaking them for treatment.
  • Carefully pull skin away from your ingrown toenail with a small nail file that’s blunt and won’t cut your toe. Place a small piece of cotton or dental floss between your nail and the lifted skin to lift the skin away from your nail.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Keep antibiotic ointment on your ingrown toenail to reduce infection.
  • Relieve pain with over-the-counter pain medications. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can both help relieve the pain that comes from an infected toe.
  • Use an antifungal cream if you think you have a fungal infection. You can purchase an over-the-counter cream or get a prescription from your doctor.

When to see a doctor

Although you can do many things to treat an infected toe at home, it’s important to understand when you need to seek medical care. Call your doctor or a podiatrist if:

  • You are noticing redness, swelling, and/or drainage coming from your toe
  • You think you may have a fungal infection and over-the-counter creams haven’t worked
  • You have an infected or ingrown toenail and you’re diabetic
  • Your toenail infection symptoms don’t go away, they worsen, or they keep coming back

You should seek immediate medical attention if you have a fever and notice red streaks on your skin that lead away from the infected area on your toe, as these symptoms indicate a more severe infection.

An infected toenail can impact your daily life, but it doesn’t have to. Learning how to treat an infected toe and knowing when to call your doctor can get you back to doing all the activities you love. If you’re concerned about an infection in your toe, you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist before attempting to treat painful symptoms at home.

What to do if a nail has grown

An ingrown toenail is hard to miss. Pain, redness, fluid bubbles, and the shape of the nail itself signal a problem.

Big toes are most commonly affected by ingrown toenails. But in general, you may not be lucky with any finger.

Why nails grow in

  1. Biomechanics of the foot. Most often, flat feet and how wrong we walk are to blame.
  2. Uncomfortable shoes. If something is pressing, if something prevents the nails from growing correctly, they will start looking for workarounds.
  3. Constantly sweaty feet. As a rule, it is a matter of low-quality materials from which shoes, socks or tights are made.
  4. Injury. Sometimes, if you stumble or drop something on your nail, you can disrupt the natural direction of growth.
  5. Improper nail care. If you cut your nails too much and often, forget about the nail file and generally hammer on elementary manicure and pedicure, then the risk of getting an ingrown toenail increases.
  6. Fungus. With fungal diseases, the nails are generally deformed, so they can grow in.
  7. Diabetes. Diabetic foot is a special term because, oddly enough, the legs suffer due to problems with blood sugar.

Why an ingrown toenail is dangerous

It hurts to walk with it, it is difficult to find shoes with it, even sneakers. However, an ingrown toenail hurts, even if you don’t put on your shoes at all.

But this is not the worst . Since the nail constantly presses on the skin, a wound is formed, into which any microbe can enter. If this happens, inflammation or suppuration will begin.We’ll have to use antibiotics to eliminate the infection. In particularly difficult cases, an ordinary ingrown toenail can lead to amputation.

How to treat an ingrown toenail

It will not work to endure and wait until everything is over. If the nail begins to grow in, it must be treated.

A good start would be to visit:

  1. Orthopedist. He will tell you if you have flat feet or other diseases and will treat them.
  2. Podiatrist – a specialist in foot diseases who will deal directly with the ingrown toenail.

Olga Aleinikova

podiatrist, master of manicure and pedicure

The fact is that the growing nail captures the surrounding tissues. And they need to be separated from this nail. Surgeons remove nails, but do not work with the tissues and biomechanics of the foot.

According to Olga Aleinikova, there are ways to avoid surgery. This is tamponing (a special material that is placed between the nail and the tissue), correctly selected orthopedic shoes or at least insoles, staples and titanium plates.

Plates on the nail

Staples on an ingrown nail

These plates and staples are somewhat reminiscent of dental braces. The glands are glued to the top of the nail so that as they grow, they raise its sides and prevent them from growing . How long you have to wear such plates is an individual question and depends on many factors.

If the inflammation has already started and you need to go to a specialist, place a cotton swab with antibiotic ointment between the nail and the skin to eliminate the inflammation.You can wash the places of suppuration with hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine.

Do I need to cut out a nail at the surgeon’s

When all else fails, there is only one way – a surgical one. That is, the nail is cut to the place where it already lies straight. This can be very painful, after the operation you will have to wait a long time for the new nail to grow as it should, and no one can guarantee that the ingrowth story will not repeat itself. In very advanced cases, the nail is removed completely.

Therefore, it is better not to bring it to the point where it is necessary to destroy half of the nail plate, and at the first changes to reach an orthopedist or podiatrist. At the very least, visit a good pedicure salon where a podiatrist accepts.

What to do to prevent the nail from growing

In most cases it is enough:

  1. Follow the shape of the foot and correct flat feet with shoes.
  2. Keep your nails clean.
  3. Cut them in time.
  4. Leave 1-2 mm of regrown nail when cutting.
  5. Do not trim the corners of the thumbnails.
  6. Trim nails according to their natural shape (legs usually need to be trimmed straight, but there are exceptions).
  7. Treat fungal diseases.
  8. Wear only comfortable shoes.
  9. In case of signs of ingrowth, consult an orthopedist or podiatrist, and not try to solve everything on your own.

Read also

Ingrown nail – symptoms, treatment, prevention, causes, first signs

General data, causes of an ingrown nail

When the edge of the nail grows into the periungual roller, severe pain and inflammation occurs. This can happen for various reasons:

  • Hereditary disorder of nail growth.
  • Incorrect cutting of nails, during which their corners are cut off.
  • Flat feet and other deformities of the foot.
  • Wearing uncomfortable tight shoes with hard soles.
  • Fungal diseases of the foot.
  • Infection of fingers, felon.
  • Injuries to fingers.

Most often, an ingrown toenail occurs on the big toe. It occurs in both adults and children. At the moment, there are many types of operations to remove an ingrown nail, but often they only bring a temporary effect: the nail continues to grow, and after a while, treatment may be required again.


The main symptom of an ingrown toenail is severe pain. It does not allow you to wear closed and model shoes, or stand on your feet for a long time. The skin in the area of ​​the ingrown nail turns red, swells. If you accidentally touch or press an ingrown toenail, the pain will intensify.


An ingrown nail is often complicated by inflammation and suppuration. In this case, the skin in the area of ​​the nail swells, acquires a purple-cyanotic color, the pain intensifies, droplets of pus come out from under the nail.Panaritium develops – a purulent infection of the finger. The general condition of the patient is disturbed, the body temperature rises. Over time, the infection can invade the bone and develop osteomyelitis.

Infection and suppuration of an ingrown nail are especially dangerous for patients suffering from diseases such as diabetes mellitus, impaired blood flow in the legs (with varicose veins, obliterating endarteritis, cardiovascular diseases), decreased immunity. In them, the infection can spread to the entire leg, leading to serious consequences.

What can you do?

If symptoms of an ingrown toenail appear, you should immediately contact a dermatologist or surgeon. In the early stages, the disease can sometimes be cured without surgery. If signs of ingrown toenail have been identified recently, then you need to follow some recommendations:

  • walk more with bare feet, without shoes;
  • to wear mostly open shoes with soft soles;
  • if you have to wear closed shoes, then they must have a wide toe;
  • do in the evenings warm foot baths with potassium permanganate, furacilin, chamomile, calendula, St. John’s wort.

What can a doctor do?

If signs of an ingrown toenail are recent, your doctor may suggest treatment without surgery. Special plates are used, which are attached to the nail with glue, unbend it and contribute to its correct growth.

If treatment without surgery is not possible, various surgical methods are used:

  • Removal of the entire nail or part of it with a scalpel. There are different options for operations. They are quite painful, traumatic and do not give an absolute guarantee that the nail will not grow back.
  • Excision of a part of the nail with a laser. This variant of the operation has advantages over the classical one: it helps to stop the abnormal growth of the lateral part of the nail and allows the patient to recover faster after the intervention (approximately within 5-7 days).
  • Excision of a part of the nail using radio wave surgery. This is the most modern technique in which high frequency radio waves are used instead of a scalpel and a laser.


Basic measures to prevent ingrown toenail:

  • Wearing the right footwear.It shouldn’t be too narrow.
  • Correct nail cutting. After the pedicure, the nail should have an even square shape, and its leading edge should be slightly rounded.
  • Fight against flat feet and other diseases of the feet.

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Why does a nail grow in and how to effectively treat an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenail: causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Onychocryptosis is the ingrowth of a part of the nail plate into the tissue of the nail fold (more precisely, the lateral edge). Most often, an ingrown toenail is found on the big toe.

Inflammation, edema, redness and painful sensations appear. Often, only pain makes you see a doctor when it is already impossible to endure and suppuration occurs. Because of this, the problem becomes chronic. According to statistics, half of the patients acquire chronic onychocryptosis.

Why the nail can grow

The reasons are different and are conventionally divided into external factors and diseases.

External causes
  • Ignorance and non-observance of the rules for pedicure.

    The main reason for the development of onychocryptosis is precisely the inability to handle nail scissors and inaccuracy when cutting nails. You can accidentally cut off a corner, leave a burr or a sharp edge, rub the skin around with the edge of the scissors, trim the nail too short. All this is dangerous and in most cases provokes ingrowth.

  • Too much load on the legs.
  • Uncomfortable (not your size) and tight shoes (including a narrow nose).
  • Valgus feet and flat feet. The foot is deformed, and due to the pressure of the second toe, the big one is bent.
  • Pregnancy and the puerperium. An ingrown nail in women is capable of both late pregnancy and lactation, or one and a half to two months after childbirth.
  • Diseases associated with malnutrition of the nail plate.Among them are diabetes mellitus, vascular and heart diseases, all kinds of endocrine pathologies and obesity.
  • Conducting radiation or chemical therapy in oncology.

  • Fungus. Because of it, the nail thickens, loses its previous shape and grows into the periungual roller.
  • Excess soft tissue in the subungual cushion. Usually congenital pathology.
  • Frostbite or mechanical damage to fingers.
  • Diseases of the skin that provoke deformation of the nails – warts or psoriasis, lichen, etc.

What are the symptoms of onychocryptosis

There are five main signs, some directly speak of a certain stage of the disease:

  • Constant pain in the nail, which becomes especially severe if you do not wear slippers and walk.

  • Redness, swelling, painful throbbing and purulent discharge. This is evidence that an infection has been brought inside.
  • Sores. As a rule, they occur with injuries.
  • Excessive growth of tissue around the nail, resembling raw meat in appearance.
  • Deformation, decrease in length and increase in density of the plate, pus appears, soft tissues become coarse. All this is characteristic of an already protracted illness.


As soon as you suspect an ingrown nail, be sure to contact a specialist in foot diseases or a surgeon.

Doctors will be asked to go through a few simple laboratory tests to make the diagnosis as accurate as possible. These are blood tests:

  • General. Helps to understand at what stage the inflammation is.
  • For glucose. To exclude the presence of diabetes.

If you have a fungus, see a dermatologist and follow the comprehensive treatment regimen. One method is clearly not enough. Are there complications? Then you cannot do without additional diagnostics.

The surgeon will certainly tell you to take an X-ray of the foot, with its help, suppuration is found on the bone, and a bony outgrowth (osteophyte) can be seen on the finger.

If onychocryptosis in a child

You don’t need to try the home remedies described below, because everything is more serious for children, it is difficult for them to endure the pain, it is more difficult to understand what exactly is bothering them. Immediately take a coupon to the surgeon or make an appointment with the specialists of private clinics.

Home treatment

Treatment at home is possible only at the initial stages of onychocryptosis or for the purpose of prophylaxis, and requires compliance with certain conditions:

  • Only loose shoes should be worn;
  • observe hygiene rules;
  • to cut nails correctly;
  • change socks twice a day.

There are six home remedies for getting rid of an ingrown toenail. We will briefly describe them below.

Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Indicated for severe pain. You need to follow the instructions and, in general, do not abuse the pills. You can use Nimesulide, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and other drugs from the group.

Disinfectant baths
For a good effect, do it twice or four times a day, regularly.Dissolve in water either baking soda, or a solution of potassium permanganate, or sea salt. The trays soften the fabric and help gently remove the nail. If you can do this, do not forget to wipe the treated areas with iodine later.

Compress of medicines
Designed to relieve inflammation. Prepared from 10 milliliters of Dimexide, 20 – water, 1 milliliter of dexamethasone and 1 ampoule of analgin. A gauze swab is moistened in the solution, applied to the finger, covered with cellophane, bandaged and put on over the sock. They keep it overnight, do the procedure for three to four days. If it does not pass within the specified time, urgently see a doctor.

Boiling water
It is used exclusively at the onset of the disease, not with an abscess. A swollen, inflamed finger is placed in very hot water for a couple of seconds and taken out back. Repeat for 10-20 minutes. It should turn out about 20-30 times.

Chlorhexidine solution
Moisten a sterile bandage with it and apply it in the area between the skin roll and the nail.Once dry, again “flavored” with an antiseptic. Slide the bandage forward daily to loosen the nail.

Vertical groove
It is made on the stratum corneum of the ingrown nail with a nail file. Allows, when tightening, to raise the edge of the problem area.

Special medicinal preparations, such as solutions and ointments, have proven themselves quite well in conservative treatment.

The main active ingredient is carbamide (urea), which softens the nail and fabrics and makes it easier to trim. You need to apply on a dry finger, filling the ointment with a spatula between the nail edge and the periungual roller. After the procedure, put on socks. Duration – 3-4 days, then they try to cut the nail.

Vishnevsky’s ointment
Indicated for infections. Consists of birch tar, castor oil, xeroform. Apply under a bandage at night, remove in the morning. You can cut off the nail if it comes out from under the roller.

Softens, relieves inflammatory and pain symptoms.It contains extracts of maclea and licorice, palm oil, plus St. John’s wort, petroleum jelly. First, the legs are steamed, and then a balm is applied to the roller and the entire plate. Enough one or two times a day.

Ichthyol Ointment
Helps to cope with inflammation, soreness, bacteria and irritation. Contains ichtammol and petroleum jelly. A “night” bandage is made with the ointment so that the nail can be cut off in the morning.

Surgical methods

  • Laser moxibustion
    This procedure is usually used if the nail has grown into the cuticle.Refers to high-tech and allows you to achieve a stable remission. With the help of a laser beam, part of the problem nail and growth cells are burned out, granulation and inflamed tissue are removed.

  • Resection of the nail plate or ingrown edge
    Surgical intervention performed under local anesthesia. With suppuration, in most cases, you have to remove the entire nail plate, a new one appears after about ninety days. The technique does not give a long-term result, often after four months people may again face signs of onychocryptosis.To avoid the risk of the disease, preventive measures are given: so that the nail roller does not come into contact with the plate, part of the skin is removed along the lateral surface of the finger, in addition, granulation is removed.

  • Radio wave removal
    This technique is considered gentle. Operation in very rare cases provokes complications and any relapses. A positive feature is the absence of traces of interference (scars, stitches). The procedure consists of the elimination of the ingrown part and the treatment of the sprout, matrix zones.
How to behave after surgery

Resection is a rather serious operation that requires a long recovery. The treated area will hurt at first. Complete healing occurs within a month, and control is required all the time: to protect the nail bed as much as possible from infection. They also resort to such measures:

  • For three to five days, treat the operated site with antiseptic agents, for example, hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine, use antibacterial ointments (Gentaxan, Levomekol, etc.), a finger is bandaged with sterile materials. Further dressing every other day.
  • In the early days, it is advisable not to step on your foot at all, and then adhere to a sparing regimen and avoid exertion.
  • Pain relievers can be taken if discomfort is severe.
  • Only wide shoes are allowed so that the materials do not come into contact with the sore toe.

State-of-the-art non-surgical and safe methods

This is the optimal solution, as it is carried out under the supervision of specialists using the latest equipment.Fast and secure.

Podofix This is a non-surgical treatment for ingrown nails developed by German specialists. For correction, small staples-plates are used on the nail, which can be varnished. They are practically invisible, do not cause discomfort, do not require giving up an active lifestyle. This glue-based staple is also indicated for core calluses, hypergranulation, curling of nails, for cosmetic purposes.
Learn more and price

  • Combiped
    Combined technique, design combines Podofix plates and ZTO brackets (metal bracket and adhesive plastic pad). Easy to install, straightens the nail, relieves pain.
    Full method description and price

Possible negative consequences if timely treatment is not started

  • Finger abscess
    Purulent process with redness and swelling.

  • Gangrene of the finger
    Blackening and death of tissues. The process is irreversible.
  • Lymphadenitis / lymphangitis
    Infection travels through the lymphatic vessels to neighboring lymph nodes.
  • Osteomyelitis
    Abscess running. The inflammation is already spreading to the bone.

How to prevent nail ingrowth

First of all, master the basics of a pedicure. There are not many rules, here are the main ones:

  • Use a warm foot bath to soften your nails.
  • Cut straight, no rounding.

  • Use a soft file to clean the tips and edges of the nails, take your time, do everything carefully and calmly.
  • Do not try to trim more than required: the free edge should be two to three millimeters long.
  • Dirt and excess skin are removed with cotton wool / bandage / gauze, but not with scissors.
  • You can also buy special fluids that soften the skin, reduce the hardening process and reduce the risk of ingrowth.
  • It is advisable to wear shoes that fit and avoid high heels (maximum 4 centimeters). In case of pathologies, the use of orthopedic products is mandatory. Change your socks and wash your feet regularly, treat the fungus on time and properly.
  • And also lose weight so that excess weight does not give a load.

Photos of an ingrown nail before / after, symptoms, consequences, treatment

Medical pedicure services in the salon Iris

Combiped: treatment of an ingrown toenail without surgery

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90,000 Ingrown toenail and other infant nail problems

The baby’s tiny fingers, his little hands and feet are perhaps the sweetest and most kissed part of a child’s body.It is all the more alarming for parents when something unhealthy happens to the child’s fingers.

Typical problems

The three most common finger problems that parents report to me are:

  • Accidental over-cutting of the nail: when the mother grabs not only the edge of the nail with scissors or nippers, but also the skin under it, causing pain and a drop of blood in the child.
  • Ingrown nail.
  • It is not difficult to deal with the first group of complaints: koilonychia, peeling nails, white dots inside the nail, and brittle edges are almost always a variant of the norm and disappear in a few months or years (they will probably go to school). This is not dangerous, the pediatrician is only required to exclude iron deficiency in the child, exclude fungal infections of the nail, rare causes of onychodystrophy – and reassure the family.

    Unintentional trauma to the subungual tissue with nippers is also a very minor and self-passing problem: you just need to treat the wound with an antiseptic and keep it clean (re-treat it with an antiseptic if it is clearly contaminated) until it heals itself (1–4 days).

    Treatment of ingrown toenails in infants

    But the elimination of an ingrown nail requires certain actions and diligence from the parents, so we will dwell on it in a little more detail.

    Ingrown toenail is a common problem at any age, but chubby children’s fingers, on which the skin hangs over the nail plate from all sides, and the nail has the shape of a spoon, suffer from ingrowth especially often.

    Our nails are constantly growing little by little, and normally they should not rest against neighboring tissues.But if the edge of the nail is cut lower than the level of the skin on its sides, or if the nail is broken from the active movements of the baby (about the diaper when moving the legs, or from crawling), then the edge of the nail can rest against the skin near the nail and fall into a trap. Further growth of the nail will lead to the appearance / intensification of pain, swelling in this place, and if no help is provided, even to suppuration of the periungual tissues (panaritium), and the need for surgical assistance. Fortunately, it is almost always fairly easy to prevent this.

    If you notice that the nail has begun to grow in (you cannot see its lateral edge, and the skin under which it hid is swollen and reddened a little), then it’s time to act.You need to organize a course of “spa treatments” for your baby: a leg or a handle should be steamed in warm (about 37–40 degrees) soapy water for 10 minutes, 2 times a day. Too hot water is not needed – it is uncomfortable for the child, and can even cause a burn (be careful!).

    After such steaming, the skin must be thoroughly dried with a terry towel (blot, not rub), and then gently move the skin from the lateral surfaces of the nail away from the central axis of the finger with gentle but confident movements of your fingers several times.This movement must be repeated several times. The essence of the procedure is to free the edge of the nail from the trap 2 times a day, allowing it to move slightly forward. The course of treatment will be 3-7 days. If you steam your finger every day and release the nail from the trap, then one day it will be completely free, it will grow so much that the skin will no longer hide its edge – and the position of the tissues will again become correct. Inflammation of the skin (redness, swelling and mild soreness) will go away on its own, a few days after the ingrowth has been eliminated.

    However, an ingrown toenail can lead to complications, even if you did everything on time and correctly. If the child begins to have severe soreness of the tissues around the nail, bright swelling and redness of about 2-3 mm around the nail: you can start smearing antibacterial cream (with mupirocin or fusidic acid in the composition) 3-4 times a day, and carefully observe the changes. And if a child has bright redness / swelling diverge more than 5 mm from the edge of the nail, or even affect the entire finger, or even under the nail or under the tissues near it, you see pus, or, even more so, the child has a fever against the background of local changes (increased temperatures more than 38 C), moodiness and refusal to eat – in this case, you should contact a pediatrician or surgeon in the next day.

    Many parents feel guilty and annoyed with themselves for allowing the ingrown toenail. Let me reassure you, most likely it is not your fault, a properly cut nail can grow in; and the nail can also break when you move it, no matter how carefully you cut it. Channel your energy into a peaceful channel, not to self-flagellation, but to prevent ingrowth in the future. To do this, cut your nails not in a semicircle, but strictly across the axis of the nail so that the edges of the nail remain above the skin, and then just sharpen the corners a little with a nail file.Trim your toenails 1-2 times a week. Avoid tight shoes for babies (not an easy task, given how quickly the legs grow!).

    If, despite all your efforts, you too often encounter ingrown nails in a child (more than 3 times a month) – tell your pediatrician about this at your next visit. Very, very rarely, this is associated with a gross deformation of the base of the nail plate and abnormal growth of the nail, and requires planned surgical correction.

    By the way. There is another, rather unobvious, danger for delicate children’s fingers: during unconscious movements of the legs, mother’s long hair is sometimes tightly wound on them, this can lead to swelling of the fingers, and even serious disruption of blood flow in them and tissue damage. Be careful , remove your hair from children’s fingers in a timely manner.

    90,000 Toenail grows into the skin

    Probably, every person at least once in his life wondered why nails grow on his feet.To hit the corner of the chest of drawers at night is kind of like a self-evident answer, but it’s no less painful to just kiss with your finger. Stop! Just the same to protect the delicate skin of the toes, the nails serve. This is the ideal. But there is also a negative side. For example, if the nail grows into the finger (skin), bringing an unforgettable experience (and sometimes a sight). In general, we have prepared an article in which we will tell you what to do if a toenail grows in.

    How to recognize a nail growing into a toe

    It should be noted right away that very often only one nail plate grows in, and most often it is on the thumb.At the very beginning of the disease, the nail grows into the skin, after which the latter turns red and inflamed, walking is accompanied by pain. If you think that this will go away by itself and do not take any measures, then the nail will begin to grow deeper. In this case, the pain does not recede even at rest. If you press on the nail for some reason, the pain will intensify. In the most advanced cases, redness is replaced by cyanosis, there is a discharge of blood and pus. At the same time, a person noticeably loses in mobility.

    Reasons why the nail grows in

    At first, it may seem like an ingrown toenail is a punishment for all past sins.But de facto, everything is somewhat more prosaic. Doctors have analyzed everything for a long time and identified as many as four factors due to which toenails grow in:

    1. Incorrectly done pedicure. The main factors are: cutting the corner of the nail, as well as carefully left burrs and sharp edges of the nail. It is very likely that after such a seeming trifle, the toenail grows into the skin. To avoid this, do not leave rounded edges of the nail and do not cut them very short at all.

    2. Uncomfortable and squeezing shoes are another factor that causes your toenail to grow into your skin. Remember that well-chosen shoes are not only a guarantee of comfort, but also an excellent prevention of onychocryptosis (as doctors call an ingrown toenail).

    3. Injuries and wounds to the toes. And the stronger and more often they are, the greater the chance of giving the nail the opportunity to dig into the skin of the toes.The only advice here is to be as careful and attentive as possible. Well, if the injury could not be avoided and the first symptoms appeared that a large toenail is growing, do not hesitate to sign up for a specialist consultation.

    4. Fungal diseases. With the development of such diseases, the nails can often be deformed and exfoliated. All this sometimes leads to the fact that the nails grow into the skin on the legs. You can catch such an unpleasant ailment, for example, in a solarium or swimming pool.Therefore, treating the feet with antifungal drugs will be a good prevention. Yes, even if you don’t use public saunas, showers, etc.

    In principle, these are the key factors of onychocryptosis, but not the only ones. Also flat feet, chemotherapy, diabetes, obesity, etc. can become factors causing ingrown toenails. What to do with this? Remember: when the first signs of onychocryptosis appear, you should immediately seek help from medical specialists.After all, only an experienced doctor can determine the correct treatment.

    Treatment of ingrown toenail

    But what to do with an ingrown toenail if preventive methods have never worked? For this case, doctors have prepared as many as five methods of therapy.

    1. Sparing treatment: lotions and baths with antiseptic preparations. Usually, in this case, cotton pads or gauze strips are placed between the nail bed and, in fact, the nail itself.However, such procedures are not highly effective, and therefore are usually carried out at the very initial stages of treatment. And a relapse is not excluded: after the therapy, the nail grows into the toe very often.

    2. Orthopedic therapy. To do this, special devices (special plates or staples) are installed on an incorrectly growing nail, which will help the nail grow in the right direction. The installed bracket lifts the edges of the nail, separating them from the roller.Thus, the growth of the nail is directed in a natural direction.
      Most often, such plates and staples are made individually for each patient. On average, treatment takes about three months. In this case, the plate needs to be changed about once a month. Often, after removing the staples, the toenails grow into the skin again.

    3. Surgical intervention. Surgical removal is carried out under a local anesthetic: armed with a scalpel, the surgeon removes a fragment of the nail plate (if the patient endured and started everything, then the nail is completely removed).A portion of the bead is also sometimes removed to prevent re-ingrowth. However, this does not always help, since in about half of the cases, the nail grows into the side of the finger with renewed vigor. At the same time, rehabilitation after surgical treatment is quite long – about three weeks. At this time, an antiseptic treatment of the skin and regular dressings are necessary.

    4. Laser removal of an ingrown toenail. This therapy also takes place under the influence of a local anesthetic.For the procedure, a carbon dioxide laser “Lancet” is used, with the help of which the doctor makes a small indentation in the problem area. Through it, the effect on the nail plate is exerted, without affecting the surrounding tissues. Bonus: after the laser procedure, the risk of recurrence (re-emergence of an ingrown toenail) is minimal.

    Today, laser removal is considered one of the most effective (and therefore optimal) treatments for onychocryptosis.

    Benefits of laser treatment for ingrown toenails

    Well, since we are talking about the optimality of laser therapy, we cannot but tell what is the reason for it:

    • First, unlike most other methods, there is almost no risk of re-ingrown toenail.

    • Secondly, there is no long recovery period as after surgical removal.

    • Thirdly, the laser not only removes the nail, but also disinfects the surrounding tissues, so all dangerous microorganisms in the center of events will be destroyed.

    • Fourth, the laser additionally coagulates blood vessels, so the patient will not lose a drop of blood.

    In our clinic, you can make an appointment with a specialist. At the appointment, the laser therapist will tell you what to do if a toenail has grown. You can sign up for a preliminary consultation (as well as for a procedure) by phone or using a special form on the website.

    90,000 treatment / Laser Doctor St. Petersburg

    Onychocryptosis is a pathology in which the nail begins to grow into the skin.As a rule, a toenail grows in, and almost always on the leg. At the same time, onychocryptosis is often accompanied by pain, and it does not look very attractive either. The good news is that today you can get rid of an ingrown toenail quickly and effectively. In our new article, you will learn by what symptoms onychocryptosis can be detected, why the toenail grows into the skin, and what procedure can be used to remove it.

    Ingrown nail

    In most cases, onychocryptosis is an ingrowth of the nail on the big toe and on the leg.However, pathology can occur on the hands and on any finger. Moreover, it can manifest itself at any age in both men and women. Like any disease, ingrown toenails are easiest to treat early on. And it’s even easier to warn her. But to do this, you need to know the symptoms of an ingrown toe and the big toe and the reasons for this.

    Symptoms of ingrown nail

    The main symptoms of onychocryptosis:

    1. Pain. At the onset of the disease, it is felt periodically, usually while walking.At this time, the nail plate is just beginning to press on the tissue and, in fact, has not yet begun to grow in. If you do not start treatment, the nail will begin to grow into the tissue, damaging them. Therefore, the pain becomes constant, throbbing. Often, in advanced cases, acute pain appears even from the slightest touch. Sometimes the pain from ingrown toenails is so severe that it is difficult for a person to move around.

    2. Redness. The periungual roller in the ingrown nail area turns red. At first, it is a slightly pronounced pinkish color.As it grows in, the skin can acquire a bluish, almost purple color.

    3. Suppuration. This happens if an infection enters the injured area. The appearance of pus is accompanied by severe swelling.

    4. Granulation. This is the name for excess tissue that begins to appear in the affected area. They even received the name “wild meat” for their appearance. The presence of granulations indicates a severe case of an ingrown toenail.

    Causes of ingrown nail

    Onychocryptosis may appear due to the following factors:

    • Injury. Very often, onychocryptosis is diagnosed after the patient receives an injury to the legs or directly to the toe. In this case, the nail plate may be damaged or deformed, as a result of which it will subsequently grow into the finger.

    • Improper care (pedicure). This is another common reason a nail grows into the big toe.This is especially true for cutting the corner of the nail.

    • Shoes. First of all, these are uncomfortable shoes. For example, with a narrow toe. In such a case, the toes are compressed in a narrow part.

    • Congenital predisposition. In this case, the nail plate may have an irregular shape, or the tissues on the nail pad may be thickened.

    • Sweating of the feet. If the toes are permanently moisturized, and even found in a closed toe, the skin around the nails may swell, and the nail plate itself may “soften”.As a result, the risk of ingrown toenails on the big toe increases.

    • Fungus. Some fungal organisms, as a result of their activity, can change the thickness of both the nail or the skin of the nail pad.

    • Flat feet. With such a pathology (or with a vulgus foot), the nail plate can be deformed, which can cause subsequent ingrowth.

    In any case, it is easier to treat onychocryptosis at the very beginning of the disease, so do not postpone a visit to a specialist.One of the most effective ways to eliminate this ailment, even in very advanced cases, is to carry out a laser procedure.

    How is the laser procedure

    Before the session, you will need to first meet with a laser therapist so that he can examine the nail, determine the effectiveness of laser treatment, advise you and check for contraindications to laser removal of an ingrown nail. If you have no restrictions on the session, then the procedure can be carried out immediately after the consultation.

    To eliminate discomfort, the specialist first anesthetizes the affected area. Direct removal begins only after the anesthetic has taken effect. An ingrown thumbnail is excised with a powerful laser beam. At the same time, the skin is disinfected, and the vessels are coagulated. Therefore, the procedure is safe and bleeding-free. On average, the duration of a session is about 20-30 minutes. As a rule, one procedure is enough to completely eliminate an ingrown toenail.But in some cases it may be necessary to conduct additional sessions (usually no more than three).

    After the procedure, you will not need to take sick leave or be in the clinic: you can immediately return to your usual life. In this case, you will need to follow individual recommendations.

    In the clinic “Laser Doctor”, the procedure for removing an ingrown nail is carried out with the “Lancet” laser by experienced specialists with higher medical education.

    90,000 Ingrown nail (onychocryptosis) – Family Doctor clinic.

    An ingrown toenail (or onychocryptosis) is a chronic condition in which the lateral edge of the nail plate begins to grow under the soft tissues of the periungual fold, causing inflammation and deformity of the toe. More often observed on the first toe.


    • Incorrect pedicure: cutting off the corner of the nail in an attempt to make its edge semicircular, traumatizing the periungual roller / nail bed with pedicure scissors or other tools with short cutting of nails, or cutting off the cuticle of the periungual roller.
    • Features of the nail plate, in most cases congenital, when the shape of the nail contributes to pathological pressure on the periungual roller.
    • Injuries to the nail plate and soft tissues of the nail phalanx of the finger.
    • Onychomycosis (fungal infection of the nail plate).
    • Onychodystrophies: in certain diseases (congenital anomalies, diseases of internal organs, skin diseases, immune diseases, intoxication, hypovitaminosis, an increase in certain minerals in the blood), deformation of the nail plates occurs, changes in the structure, thickness, shape, growth characteristics.This is due to a lack of supply of nutrients (vitamins, protein, minerals, oxygen) to the nail plate or, conversely, intoxication with substances, for example, arsenic.
    • Orthopedic diseases of the foot, mainly flat feet, which leads to deformation of the fingers (hallux valgus, that is, its deviation closer to the second toe), which contributes to squeezing the lateral edge of the toe.
    • Wearing improperly fitted, tight shoes when pinching of the toes occurs; wearing high-heeled shoes also increases stress on the forefoot.
    • Incorrect biomechanics of stride, when the first finger takes off incorrectly when walking or running.


    At grade I of an ingrown nail, the lateral edge of the plate begins to press under the edge of the periungual ridge, soft tissues react to pressure by tissue growth, inflammation, redness, and slight discomfort when walking.

    At the II degree, the edge of the nail goes under the roller, there is a thickening and inflammation of the periungual roller, it is possible to attach an infection in the form of redness, throbbing pains, swelling, up to the appearance of pus – purulent inflammation of the periungual roller.

    At grade III, the nail plate goes deep under the roller, the finger deforms due to the proliferation of the tissues of the periungual roller on the lateral side, a wound defect is formed, which is filled with inflammatory tissues (the so-called “wild meat”), creating discomfort, pain, adhesion of clothes to the wound , the wound bleeds easily.

    Since hypergranulation (“wild meat”) is a wound, a local infection often joins, which can pass from the lateral ridge to the posterior ridge (base of the nail plate) – purulent paronychia, accompanied by pain, redness and swelling of both ridges.Then it can spread to the tissues of the finger and cause panaritium, as well as inflammation of the lymphatic vessels of the dorsum of the foot and the inner surface of the lower leg, or lymph nodes in the popliteal or groin region.


    At the initial degree, conservative treatment can be dispensed with. It is necessary to exclude the cause (what can be changed: treatment of chronic diseases, onychomycosis, replenishment of the deficiency of iron, protein, vitamins, minerals, correct manicure – with an ingrown nail, a medical pedicure, correction of flat feet, foot hygiene, wearing loose shoes).Also used are local agents that stop the growth of granulations – Fukarcin solution, antiseptics.

    Ortonixia – treatment with special braces and plates, which allow for a certain period of time (at least several months) to correct the growth of the nail plate towards the correct one.

    With the addition of an infection and / or with II, III degree of an ingrown nail, pronounced hypergranulation with a long-term non-healing wound, treatment is possible only surgically.

    When the disease is diagnosed for the first time, the marginal resection of the nail plate is performed, with the removal of hypergranulations of the periungual fold.

    With onychomycosis, the complete removal of the nail plate is performed, with the formation of the nail bed.

    With a recurrent ingrown nail, the nail is resected with plastics of the nail bed and periungual fold.

    You need to understand that after surgical treatment, while maintaining the provoking factors and causes, the risk of relapse is quite high.

    Modern technologies of surgical treatment are successfully used to treat an ingrown toenail. In our clinic, this is the surgical treatment of onychocryptosis using a surgical laser.

    Benefits of using a laser for surgical treatment: