What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

By Providence Foot Health Center
May 21, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Ingrown toenails  

Ingrown toenails can develop when the nail presses too closely against the skin. The pressure caused by the nail pushing into the skin can lead to swelling, redness, pain, and discomfort. Left untreated, an infection could develop. Dr. James Mintzer, the experienced podiatrist at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, treats ingrown toenails and can help you prevent them from occurring again down the road.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown nail can develop on any of the toes but is most common on the big toes. Ingrown toenails form as a result of the nail pressing up against the skin. One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is trimming the nails too short. Other factors that can contribute to the development of an ingrown nail include wearing shoes or socks that are too tight or not trimming the nails straight across. An injury or fungal infection on the toes or feet can also lead to ingrown toenails.

Treatment & Prevention

There are several habits or practices you can develop that will help prevent ingrown toenails. Some ways to prevent nails from becoming ingrown include:

  • Trimming toenails straight across
  • Avoid trimming toenails too short
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes and socks that are not too tight
  • Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent fungal infections
  • Treating a fungal infection on the foot promptly

If they do develop, we can treat your ingrown toenails at our office in Washington, DC. The podiatrist could prescribe an antibiotic if an infection is present. If the infection or ingrown nail is severe, all or part of the affected toenail might need to be removed. In most cases, the ingrown portion of the nail is simply cut out after first injecting the toe with an anesthetic.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mintzer for help with your ingrown toenails by calling Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, at 202-269-4062.


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