Your Guide to Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis, is a common foot ailment that develops due to pressure or trauma to the soft tissue around the nail. This pressure can cause the edges of the nail to grow into and even under the skin on either side of it, thus creating an ingrown nail. If this is not treated, the infection can advance and become extremely painful. Pain from ingrown toenails comes from mechanical irritation of the tissue around the affected nail following trauma to that area. It causes an inflammatory response, swelling, restricting blood flow, and increased pressure in the toe. If you have an ingrown toenail, you need to see a doctor who can treat an ingrown toenail in Bakersfield.


Some of the most common causes are wearing extremely tight shoes, stubbing your toe or dropping something on it, excessively trimming your nails, fungal infection of the nail, or a systemic disease such as hypothyroidism. Ingrown nails can develop in any toenail, but they most commonly affect the big toe and occur most frequently in adults between 30 and 50 years of age.


Toenails with ingrown toenails may present several symptoms. The most common symptom is pain, which can be severe. You might also notice redness and swelling around the affected toenail. In addition, you may see a black line on the side of your nail that runs from the tip of your nail down towards your toe. This is referred to as a splinter hemorrhage and happens when a tiny blood vessel under the nail is damaged.

The most important symptom to be aware of is worsening pain, especially if accompanied by a fever or other signs of infection. An untreated ingrown nail can likely become infected and lead to cellulitis, which happens when the infection spreads into the deeper tissues under your skin. This can be a severe and even potentially life-threatening complication of an ingrown toenail.


If you have mild symptoms, your doctor may be able to treat your ingrown nail with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, more severe cases require oral or intravenous antibiotics depending on how deep the infection has penetrated. Your doctor can also drain any pus that’s accumulated around the affected nail and trim away any dead, infected tissue. If your nails are thick, those with diabetes, or those who have a poor blood supply to their toes, surgery might be required for effective treatment.

In severe cases where the pain is chronic, and medication hasn’t been effective, your doctor may recommend removing the entire nail. This is called a partial or complete nail avulsion, and it’s typically only used in cases where you’re experiencing such pain that you can’t live with the problem anymore. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to permanent deformity of the toe, and infections can spread to other parts of your body. If you have an ingrown toenail, see a doctor who can treat it, and be sure to address it immediately before the problem gets worse and requires surgery.

In summary, an ingrown toenail may develop due to wearing extremely tight shoes, stubbing your toe, fungal infection, or trimming your nails too close to the skin. Some symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain. If you have mild symptoms, you can treat the condition using OTC drugs, but you may use intravenous antibiotics for extreme cases. You may also need surgery in severe cases.