Synergy Health Partners

Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing discomfort and irritation. This condition commonly affects the big toe and can lead to significant pain and mobility issues if not addressed promptly. Ingrown toenails can result from improper nail trimming, wearing tight shoes, or sustaining toe injuries.


The primary symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness, and swelling around the affected nail. As the condition progresses, the area may become increasingly tender, and walking or wearing shoes can become painful. If the toenail becomes infected, additional symptoms such as pus, increased redness, and a foul odor may develop.


Treatment options for ingrown toenails range from at-home remedies to medical interventions. Home care includes soaking the foot in warm water, applying antibiotic ointment, and keeping the affected area clean and dry. If these measures do not provide relief, a healthcare provider may lift the nail or perform a minor surgical procedure to remove the ingrown portion of the toenail. Ensuring proper nail care and hygiene is crucial for preventing recurrence.


Several factors can contribute to the development of an ingrown toenail. Improper nail trimming, such as cutting the nails too short or rounding the edges, is a common cause. Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes that put pressure on the toes can also lead to this condition. Additionally, injuries to the toenail or toe, as well as genetic predisposition, can increase the likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. Maintaining good foot care practices and wearing appropriate footwear can help prevent this painful condition.