All About Ingrown Toenails and Ways to Treat and Prevent this Condition

Ingrown nails are quite common and for many lucky people, it goes away on their own. However, there are times, when its causes major discomfort and pain and this doesn’t let you lead a quality life. It all depends on how much it is going to grow. Ingrown toenails can lead to complications if not treated at an early stage.

Ingrown nail is when your nail doesn’t grow normally as other people have. This happens when your nail is embedded deep inside the skin next to it leading to swelling, redness, or pain in that area. This is the time when you need to take action. You need a help of a podiatrist who can help you in this situation. 

If you are looking for one in Irvine then there is Dr. Sima Soltani who is the best for any foot-related problems. they use this ingrown Toenail laser treatment that can solve the problem without any complications. Just check their site of Podiatrist In Irvine for more details.


There are many reasons why this ingrown toenail occurs:

  • Constant stress to the nail. This occurs in people like athletes who constantly kick things or those who do ballet. It can also be seen in people who wear tight shoes that pinch their toes.
  • Any trauma that has been caused on the toe can lead to ingrown nails such as if you drop something heavy on your toes.
  • People who cut their nails wrongly would suffer from ingrown nails. Toenails need to be cut straight across and not round across the corner.
  • People who have thick nails are more prone to ingrown nails
  • Some people have this as a genetic problem.

Types of ingrown toenails

There are three different stages of this:

  • Stage 1: when there is inflammation, swelling, and pain
  • Stage 2: When there is inflammation, pain, nonhealing wound, and oozing, granulation tissue
  • Stage 3: Puss formation  

Home remedies 

Ingrown nails can be treated at home too by using the following methods:

  • Apply olive oil to the skin next to that nail. Once it softens you can gently push that nail and place cotton between the skin and the nail.
  • You can soak your foot in the warm soapy water until it softens the skin
  • In case of infection, you can apply topical antibiotics to the skin
  • Wear comfortable footwear and let your feet rest.

Reasons to see the doctor

An ingrown nail can get deep into your skin leading to infections. When you may see such signs of infections then it is time to see your doctor:

  • Consistent throbbing pain that may make it difficult for you to walk
  • A toenail that might feel hot or warm
  • The skin must have turned red, hardened, too soft, or overgrown
  • Orange toenail
  • Swelling
  • You can see pus coming out of the infection

These are very serious signs that need to be treated immediately. If not done on time, then this may result in some serious consequences like gangrene.


Various methods are used to treat these conditions:

  • Taping: In this, the tape is applied so that the lateral nail fold is turned away from the nail. 
  • Packing: Here a piece of cotton is applied between the nail and skin. This might be a little painful in the beginning but later the patient might feel better.
  • Dental floss: In most cases, instead of cotton, dental floss will be inserted between the nail and the skin
  • Gutter treatment: Here a sterile plastic tube is cut lengthwise to open it and is then inserted between the nail and the skin with a help of local anesthesia. It is then attached with one or two stitches. It is placed there for about 6 to 8 weeks till the inflammatory problem subsides. 
  • Nail braces: These are used to open the curvature of the nail. These braces are made of steel wire or plastic bands. They are applied to the dorsal surface of the nail and are attached to the lateral edges. This may lead to tightening it which ultimately leads to the unfolding of the curvature. 
  • Surgery is one of the most common treatments for this chronic problem. It will depend on your nail condition whether the podiatrist will choose to remove the part of the nail or the entire nail.  

If he chooses to remove the part of the nail, then he will numb the toe and will cut the sides of the nail. The remaining sides will be made completely straight. To prevent the nail to grow back as an ingrown, the podiatrist will insert cotton between the nail and the skin. He will also treat that area with a solution named phenol.

In case the podiatrist chooses to remove the entire nail, then he will have to remove the entire nail bed along with it. this will completely stop the nail from growing back. In such cases, he might also prescribe some antibiotics for the same. 


The only prevention is to avoid getting toenail problems by taking proper care of them. If you find any chronic pain and complications do not hesitate to visit the doctor.