Ingrown Toenails: Causes, Treatment, & Prevention

Looking after your feet is very important as they take you from here to there and haul you through thousands of daily steps. But what could have been so hard if your lovely feet had a common foot problem such as ingrown toenails? Ingrown toenails pain can make your life hard, preventing you from walking and standing.

What are Ingrown Toenails?

An ingrown toenail develops when the edge of your nail grows into your skin instead of over it. It usually affects the big toe. Ingrown toenails are a common foot condition and don’t usually pose a health risk to people. Athletes and people at higher risk, including adolescents and those with diabetes and infection around the nail, can get ingrown toenails.

What Causes An Ingrown Toenails?

There are many possible causes of getting ingrown nails:

  • Poor posture
  • Genetic predisposition
  • You are tearing the corner of your nail.
  • Toe trauma, such as banging your toe or getting stepped on.
  • Improper foot hygiene, such as not keeping your feet clean or dry.
  • Improperly fitting shoes. Ill-fitting shoes press your nails to your toe.
  • Round your nail edges. To avoid ingrown nails, always trim straight across.
  • Incorrectly cut toenails. If you cut your nails too short, the nail may grow into your skin.
How would you know you have ingrown toenails?

You can diagnose an ingrown toenail based on the symptoms and your toe's appearance. Ingrown toenails can be painful, and they usually worsen in stages.

Early-stage symptoms include:

  • Swelling, tenderness or hardness
  • Pain when pressure is placed on the toe.
  • Fluid is building up around your toe.

If your toe gets infected, the symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Redness and bleeding.
  • Pus coming out of your toe.
How Are Ingrown Toenails Treated?

If you developed symptoms for in-grown toenails, you should see a professional podiatrist or a GP, as this can lead to a serious problem and might affect the bone in your toe. Your doctor might prescribe you an antibiotic or require ingrown toenail surgery if it's severe.

How To Relieve Pain?

While waiting for an appointment with a podiatrist/GP, here are ways to manage pain at home and avoid worsening symptoms:

  • Soak your feet in warm water at least twice daily for 15 to 20 mins.
  • Keep the foot dry. Let your feet breathe to avoid sweat or dampness.
  • Don’t wear heels. Choose open-toed shoes or shoes with plenty of room in the toe.
  • Take pain relievers. Over-the-counter options like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce tenderness and swelling.
Preventing Ingrown Toenails

 You can prevent ingrown toenails by making several simple changes to your lifestyle.

  • Do not tear or rip nails.
  • Wear shoes that fit correctly.
  • Avoid cutting your toenails short.
  • Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
  • Avoid repetitive trauma to the sides of the nails.
  • Trim toenails across the top. Don’t round the corners.

At The Nail Bar, we could not treat ingrown toenails as it requires a higher level of expertise. However, we encourage you to attend a regular pedicure as our nail technicians can help you identify early symptoms, hence recommending early interventions.


If you want to learn more about foot care, nail health and well-being, visit The Nail Bar Beauty & Co. for more Tips & Advice.

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