FAQ - Ingrown Toenails

What does an ingrown toenail look and feel like?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail grows into the skin and tissue surrounding the nail. As the nail grows, it pushes further and further into the surrounding tissue. This can cause an infection in which the body treats the toenail as a foreign body and causes redness, pain, and swelling. Ingrown toenails can occur on any toe, but they most commonly occur in the big toenails. The side of the toe next to the nail will become red, swollen, and painful. In some cases, the patient may not be able to wear closed toe shoes due to the pain caused by the pressure placed on the toe from the shoe. If the ingrown toenail becomes infected there may also be drainage at the nail border. Improper trimming of the nails is one cause for ingrown toenails as is tight fitting shoes. It is important that one does not try to remove an ingrown toenail without the assistance of a medical professional as severe infection may occur. If the nail is infected it is important to seek medical care to have the offending border removed. Your medical professional may also prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. If you think that you may have an ingrown toenail, please contact us at Gulf South Foot and Ankle. Removal of an ingrown toenail is a very common procedure performed by our podiatrists. Recovery time from this procedure is minimal. In most cases, the patient is able to return to wearing their regular shoes within one day of the procedure.

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