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Little toe ingrown toenail: Pinky Toe Ingrown Toenails

Pinky Toe Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a potentially painful and unsightly condition that usually affects the big toe. This condition occurs when the side of the toenail grows into the skin, creating redness and swelling in the affected area. However, it is also possible for an ingrown toenail to develop on the pinky toe. This can be problematic for several reasons. Most notably, the pinky toe is the smallest of all the toes, which makes taking proper care of the pinky toenail difficult. Many individuals can not properly trim or cut this toenail due to its small size, which is a leading cause of ingrown toenails. For example, toenails that are cut too short or in a misshapen way can develop into ingrown toenails. A good way to prevent this from happening to your pinky toes is to cut the toenail straight across. This can prevent the nail from growing into the skin. Another helpful method of prevention is to wear shoes that do not crowd the toes and offer sufficiently large toe boxes. The pinky is certainly a small and often neglected part of the human body. However, having an ingrown toenail on your pinky toe is nothing to take lightly. Reach out to your local podiatrist to learn more about treating your ingrown toenail.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Comprehensive Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors 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 Shepherdsville and Louisville, KY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Ingrown Toenail Removal | AAFP

Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(12):2557-2558

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail edge is damaged, and the nail no longer fits properly into the side groove. The nail curls downward and digs into the skin, causing pain, swelling, redness, and drainage. Sometimes a piece of nail (called a lateral pointing spicule) becomes embedded in the side tissue, and the tissue becomes heaped up (hypertrophied).

What causes an ingrown toenail?

There are many causes for ingrown nails, but the two most common causes are poorly fitting shoes and improperly trimmed nails. Tight shoes compress the side of the nail and alter the fit of the nail in the groove. When nails are peeled off or torn, the edge of the nail can extend down into the corner of the nail groove. A torn nail can irritate the skin next to the nail, producing inflammation (swelling, pain, and redness) and sometimes infection.

Can ingrown nails be prevented?

Proper trimming of the nails is the best way to prevent an ingrown nail. Nails should be cut straight across, with the corners of the nail protruding from the end of the toe. Children or teenagers who play with their toes in bed at night can wear socks to bed to keep them from peeling or picking at their toenails.

How can I treat my painful nail?

When an ingrown toenail is mildly inflamed (slightly red and sore), soaking the foot in warm water and placing a piece of dry cotton under the corner of the nail may be all that is needed. If the ingrown toenail gets worse, the inflammation (pain, swelling, and drainage) may increase. An antibiotic ointment can be tried at this stage. After you see your doctor for the problem, he or she may try oral antibiotics. Surgical removal of part of the nail is often needed if the problem becomes worse.

What is the recommended surgical procedure for ingrown nails?

Surgical removal of an ingrown nail involves removing a small portion of the side of the nail and destroying the nail bed beneath. The toe is injected with a numbing medicine, and the toenail is cut to create a new, straight nail edge. The cells underneath the nail will try to grow a new nail, so they must be destroyed, thereby creating a permanently thinner nail. If there is heaped up (hypertrophied) tissue on the side of the toe, it must be removed. The toe is then bandaged until it completely heals (a few weeks).

What is the recovery time from my surgery?

You should keep your foot elevated for a few hours and rest on the day of the surgery; the next day, you can return to work or school. You should refrain from running or vigorous exercise for 2 weeks after the surgery.

Following Ingrown Toenail Removal

  1. Antibiotic ointment will be applied to the toe immediately after the procedure. The ointment is soothing and helps the toe to heal faster. You should apply the antibiotic ointment twice daily until the wound is completely healed. We like the over-the-counter (nonprescription) antibiotic ointment Mycitracin Plus because of the numbing medication mixed in with the antibiotic.

  2. You may shower the day after the surgery. Gently dry the area and apply antibiotic ointment after showering. Avoid baths, swimming, or soaking the toe for the next 2 weeks. Try to keep the toe clean and dry.

  3. Your bandage will help to pad and protect the wound, while absorbing drainage from the wound. You can replace the bandage if blood or fluid soaks the bandage. Please keep the wound bandaged for at least 1 week after the surgery.

  4. You may experience some pain after the procedure. If you experience discomfort, you can take ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), three 200-mg tablets 3 times a day with food, and acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol), two 325-mg tablets every 4 hours.

  5. You should wear loose-fitting shoes or sneakers for the first 2 weeks after the procedure. Please avoid wearing high-heeled or tight-fitting shoes in the future. You should avoid running, jumping, or strenuous activity for 2 weeks after the surgery. Teenagers should not participate in physical education activities for 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure.

  6. Infection may develop in the toe during the first few weeks after the surgery. Call your doctor if you develop increasing pain, swelling, redness, or drainage from the toe.

  7. Trimming the nails straight across the top of the nail is the best way to prevent another ingrown nail from developing. The nail must not be cut down into the corners, or picked at, or torn off. If you should develop another ingrown nail, see your doctor early, because early treatment may prevent the need for surgery.

treatment / Laser Doctor Moscow

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Under the editorship of a doctor

April 2, 2018

Maria Georgievna Markus

Leading dermatovenereologist, cosmetologist

Clinic :

st. Letnikovskaya d. 4 building 5

Everyone knows that the worst enemies of the toes, and, accordingly, the nails on them, are the designer’s cubes and furniture arranged according to Feng Shui. The limb reacts to unscheduled encounters with these enemies with immediate sharp pain and complete loss of functionality for a few seconds. The most harmful at the same time can take revenge on the wrong growth of the nail directly into the skin of the finger. Therefore, in this article we will tell you how to cure an ingrown toenail.

How to treat an ingrown toenail

In general, of course, a nail can grow into a finger for many reasons, and not just because of the corner of the chest of drawers. In addition to impact and trauma, ingrown toenails have the following causes:

  1. Improper cutting of nails. If you cut the nail without rounding, in straight lines, and do not remove the lateral surfaces of the skin of the finger too deeply, then you can significantly reduce the likelihood of an ingrown nail.

  2. Uncomfortable shoes. No need to wear small shoes that squeeze and direct the growth of the nail in the wrong direction.

  3. Fungal diseases. Due to the disease, the nail begins to grow in the wrong direction, causing a person quite severe pain.

As practice shows, most often the nail grows on the big toe. Well, this is understandable: the finger is on the side, the nail is large here and it is easiest to incline it to the wrong growth. From relatively good news – the nail grows, as a rule, on one side. But we must remember that no one is immune from ingrown nails on two legs at once.

The very first sign will be discomfort, echoing in the leg with every step. If you look at the source of pain even with an inattentive eye, you can find redness, inflammation and, who would have thought, a nail ingrown into the finger in the most impudent way. The most patient note that if the nail is not treated, then the skin around it may acquire a curious bluish tint, and if for some reason you press on the affected area, you can expect to feel increased pain. The most persistent are rewarded with constant throbbing pain and purulent or bloody discharge from the wound. In general, an ingrown toenail is best treated as soon as the first signs appear. However, you can not resort to folk remedies or advice from unknown people on the Internet. At best, the patient will lose time; at worst, he will hurt himself even more. Then the treatment will be even more expensive and lengthy. In general, self-treatment here, of course, is unacceptable, so you need to put aside wire cutters, scissors and bolt cutters. The most correct thing in this case would be to go to the doctor, so he will prescribe the right treatment.

Ingrown toenail treatment

Today, an ingrown nail on the big toe (as, indeed, on any other) is usually treated in the following ways:

  1. Surgical. It implies that the doctor removes part of the ingrown nail with a scalpel. If the case is very neglected, then the specialist will remove the nail in general completely.

  2. Conservative. In this case, the nail is not removed, but the direction of its growth is changed using various devices. The method, as a rule, implies a rather long period of treatment and does not always give a 100% guarantee.

  3. Laser. During the procedure, the doctor uses a laser to remove part of the ingrown nail. If the abnormal growth was caused by a fungus, then he will also get it (that is, the patient will also get rid of the fungus). Today, laser removal is considered one of the most optimal methods for treating an ingrown nail:

  • the procedure time, as a rule, does not exceed 30-40 minutes,

  • no lengthy preparation required

  • inflammation subsides quickly

  • the risk of re-ingrowth is almost completely eliminated,

  • infection is virtually impossible, since the doctor does not touch the damaged skin with either his hands or the instrument, moreover, the laser additionally disinfects the wound.

Procedure in the clinic “Laser Doctor”

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Ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis) in children. Causes, symptoms, treatment. – health articles


Onychocryptosis sometimes occurs in children. This term refers to an ingrown nail in a child, which occurs due to the pathology of the growth of the nail plate.

Causes and symptoms

There are several reasons for an ingrown nail in a child:

  • a genetic factor (very rare), in which the nail grows in width, cutting into the skin of the nail fold. Other variants of congenital pathology are a thickened nail fold, curvature of the nail plate. With all these pathologies, removal is necessary;
  • improper care, when the child’s nails are cut round, and the free side corners cut into the skin;
  • Incorrectly fitting shoes – wrong size or with a pointed toe. In this case, the edges of the nails tuck, deform and grow;
  • diseases – fungal nail infections, beriberi, rickets;
  • injuries;
  • violations of the foot – clubfoot or flat feet.

Most often, an ingrown toenail occurs on the big toe. it is most exposed to mechanical irritation and friction, injuries. But fingernails can also grow in.

Regardless of the location or cause, the mechanism of occurrence of an ingrown nail is the same: the nails in children gradually begin to cut into the skin. Symptoms appear: at first, pain, which becomes more intense. Then there is swelling and redness. Subsequently, an inflammatory process develops: ulcers with purulent discharge are formed. In response to inflammation on the thumb, there is an overgrowth of granulation tissue called “wild meat”.


An ingrown nail in a child was previously treated only by surgery: it was removed. This method of treatment is recognized as ineffective, tk. after it, very often there can be a relapse, or repeated ingrowth, when the nails on the thumb begin to grow. Removal entails a long recovery period, which is also a disadvantage. Therefore, now it is used only for congenital pathologies or traumatic injuries.

Modern surgical treatment is carried out in a gentle way and is reduced to the careful removal of the edge of the ingrown nail. And the defect of the nail fold is closed with a flap of skin taken from the pad of the same finger. Complete healing occurs in 15-20 days. The operation for children under 10 years old is performed under general anesthesia, over 10 years old – under local anesthesia.

Ingrown toenails can also be treated with a laser. In this case, there is also the removal, or evaporation, of the nail plate and roller, only with a carbon dioxide laser. At the same time, the laser beam “welds” the vessels, thereby avoiding blood loss. Also, if you treat an ingrown nail with a laser, the recovery period is reduced.